Globalisation of innovation in knowledge intensive industries: Lessons from the new China

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The global location of R & D labs by MNCs is a rather new phenomenon; especially when it comes to establishing R & D labs in developing countries. The existing and rather limited literature on globalisation of innovation provides four possible explanations of why multinationals locate R & D labs in developing countries: reduce research costs, access large markets, tap into a large pool of qualified human resources or benefit from knowledge spillovers available in the local/regional system of innovation. The empirical research presented in this paper reveals that none of these arguments can fully explain the increasing location of R & D labs in China. The in-depth study of MNCs R & D labs in Beijing and Shanghai, China, reveals that specific aspects of market, technological and political uncertainty provide a more adequate explanation to the increasing presence of R & D labs from MNCs in developing countries such as China and thus calls for an integration in the regional innovation systems framework.


External organisations
  • Hong Kong Baptist University
  • Aalborg University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic Geography


  • Catching up, China, Development, Globalisation, Innovation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-284
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Technology and Globalisation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch