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How the Chinese government promoted a global automobile industry


  • Wan-Wen Chu


The claim by China experts that the Chinese state lacks the capability to practice pro-active industrial policy throws China's future into doubt. This article argues the contrary by examining the development of the Chinese automobile industry and the evolution of its industrial policy since 1978. The central state's policy may have been ineffective at first, but continued to improve, layer-by-layer, by taking into account results of local experiments, and being propelled by a strong catch-up consensus providing performance standards to establish national industries. China's learning process thus renders its industrial policy model effective in the long term. Copyright 2011 The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Associazione ICC. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Wan-Wen Chu, 2011. "How the Chinese government promoted a global automobile industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(5), pages 1235-1276, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:20:y:2011:i:5:p:1235-1276

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhou, Haiwen, 2017. "Will China Avoid the Middle-Income Trap?," MPRA Paper 82688, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Xiaofei Chen & Enru Wang & Changhong Miao & Lili Ji & Shaoqi Pan, 2020. "Industrial Clusters as Drivers of Sustainable Regional Economic Development? An Analysis of an Automotive Cluster from the Perspective of Firms’ Role," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(7), pages 1-22, April.
    3. Jesús F. Lampón & Santiago Lago-Peñas & Pablo Cabanelas, 2016. "Can the periphery achieve core? The case of the automobile components industry in Spain," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(3), pages 595-612, August.
    4. Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph, 2014. "Against all odds! Why the ‘three darlings’ failed?," MPRA Paper 63383, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Lampón, Jesús F., 2019. "Relocation in conditions of uncertainty: the Spanish automobile components industry during the economic crisis (2008-2012)," MPRA Paper 92738, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Akçomak, Ibrahim Semih & Bürken, Serkan, 2019. "The middle-technology trap: The case of the automotive industry in Turkey," MERIT Working Papers 2019-006, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    7. Nam, Kyung-Min, 2015. "Compact organizational space and technological catch-up: Comparison of China's three leading automotive groups," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 258-272.
    8. Lampón, Jesús F. & Lago-Peñas, Santiago, 2013. "Factors behind international relocation and changes in production geography in the European automobile components industry," MPRA Paper 45659, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Prud’homme, Dan, 2016. "Dynamics of China’s provincial-level specialization in strategic emerging industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1586-1603.
    10. Lampón, Jesús F. & Lago-Peñas, Santiago, 2013. "Factors behind international relocation and changes in production geography in the European automobile components industry," MPRA Paper 45659, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Howell, Sabrina T., 2018. "Joint ventures and technology adoption: A Chinese industrial policy that backfired," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(8), pages 1448-1462.
    12. Saranga, Haritha & Schotter, Andreas P.J. & Mudambi, Ram, 2019. "The double helix effect: Catch-up and local-foreign co-evolution in the Indian and Chinese automotive industries," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 1-1.
    13. Andoni Maiza & Ricardo Bustillo, 2018. "Analysis of the relevance of China’s development for main European automotive manufacturing countries," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 45(3), pages 403-424, September.
    14. Donny Oktavian Syah, 2019. "Identifying vertical partnership among automotive component companies: empirical evidence from automotive industry in Jabodetabek, Indonesia," Journal of Economic Structures, Springer;Pan-Pacific Association of Input-Output Studies (PAPAIOS), vol. 8(1), pages 1-25, December.
    15. Daniel Poon, 2014. "China’s Development Trajectory: A Strategic Opening for Industrial Policy in the South," UNCTAD Discussion Papers 218, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

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