Multinational companies are increasingly locating R&D activities in emerging markets, particularly China. This paper aims to focus on why China is moving from imitation to innovation, how MNCs are evolving their R&D activities in China, the challenges they face, and how they deal with these challenges.
As this is a viewpoint paper, the authors do not report any methodology other than the general research that the authors have been conducting for the last two years, primarily interviews with companies.
The key finding is that China is moving from imitation to innovation and that multinational companies should develop strategies for conducting R&D there.
This is a fairly original paper in that there has been only limited research on innovation in China.
The authors thank Akzo Nobel, Bosch, DSM, Philips, and Shell for sponsoring the CEIBS Center on China Innovation, which is the enabling entity for the research. The authors also thank the many executives whom the authors have interviewed or who have participated in the conferences and forums, and the CEIBS colleague Klaus Meyer for his comments on an earlier version.
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