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Spatial Distribution of Patents in China


  • Yifei Sun


SUN Y. (2000) Spatial distribution of patents in China, Reg. Studies 34 , 441-454. It is found that patents in China are highly clustered in two groups of provinces: one is the economically fast growing coastal provinces; and the other is inland provinces with large bases of populations, while the degree of spatial concentration of patents is declining over time. It is also revealed that export, together with 'technical infrastructure' including producer services and development of technology transfer market explains most of the provincial variation of patents. Furthermore, foreign ventures do not seem to be an important player in China's innovation system, while both state-owned and collective-owned industries contribute significantly to creations of new products in China. Finally, some commonly cited significant factors for innovations in western literature such as research and development (R&D) and agglomeration do not seem to explain the spatial distribution of patents in China. It is argued that such discrepancies between western 'common sense' and Chinese experience are largely attributed to China's inefficient innovation system, which has not been able to develop its potentiality. SUN Y. (2000) La distribution geographique des brevets en Chine, Reg. Studies 34 , 441-454. Il s'avere qu'en Chine les brevets sont groupes autour de deux grappes de provinces: l'une comprend les provinces cotieres en pleine expansion, l'autre inclut les provinces interieures caracterisees par de grands bassins de populations. Toujours est-il que la concentration geographique des brevets diminue avec le temps. Il est evident aussi que l'exportation, conjointement avec l'infrastructure technique, y compris les services d'equipement et le developpement du marche du transfert de la technologie, explique dans une large mesure la distribution provinciale des brevets. De plus, il semble que les entreprises etrangeres n'ont pas de role important a jouer dans le systeme d'innovation en Chine, alors que les industries sous controle de l'Etat ou collectivisees contribuent de facon importante aux creations des produits nouveaux en Chine. Pour conclure, quelques idees recues, puisees dans la documentation occidentale, sur les facteurs qui facilitent l'apparition des innovations, tels la recherche et le developpement (R et D), et l'agglomeration, ne suffisent pas a expliquer la distribution geographique des brevets en Chine. On affirme que de tels ecarts entre le bon sens occidental et l'experience chinoise peuvent etre attribues dans une large mesure au systeme d'innovation chinois inefficace qui n'a pas exploite pleinement ses possibilites. SUN Y. (2000) Raumliche Verteilung von Patenten in China, Reg. Studies 34 , 441-454. Es erweist sich, dass Patente in China stark gehauft in zwei Provinzgruppen auftreten: eine in den Kustenprovinzen, die ein rasches Wachstum zu verzeichnen haben, die andere in den Inlandprovinzen, die Standort betrachtlicer Bevolkerungszahlen sind, doch das Ausmass der raumlichen Konzentration von Patenten lasst im Laufe der Zeit nach. Es zeigt sich auch, dass Export, sowie ''technische Infrastruktur'' einschliesslich HerstellerDienstleistungen und Entwicklung von Markten fur Technologietransfer grosstenteils die Unterschiede zwischen Provinzen bezuglich Patenten erklaren. Daruberhinaus scheinen Auslandsunternehmungen keine bedeutende Rolle im Innovationssystem Chinas zu spielen, wahrend sowohl im staatlichen Besitz wie im Kollektivbesitz befindliche Industrien in China betrachtlich zur Schaffung neuer Produkte beitragen. Manche in der westlichen Literatur oft als fur Innovation bedeutsam erklarten Faktoren schliesslich, wie etwa Forschung und Entwicklung, und Ballung, geben jedoch anscheinend keine gute Erklarung fur die raumliche Verteilung von Patenten in China ab. Es wird die Behauptung aufgestellt, dass solche Diskrepanzen zwischen westlichem ''gesunden Menschenverstand'' und Erfahrungen, die in China gemacht wurden, weitgehend Chinas schlecht funktionierendes Innovationssystem zugeschrieben werden, dem es nicht gelungen ist, sein Potential zu erreichen.

Suggested Citation

  • Yifei Sun, 2000. "Spatial Distribution of Patents in China," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(5), pages 441-454.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:34:y:2000:i:5:p:441-454
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400050058693

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Zheye Wang & Yeqing Cheng & Xinyue Ye & Y. H. Dennis Wei, 2016. "Analyzing the Space–Time Dynamics of Innovation in China: ESDA and Spatial Panel Approaches," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 111-129, March.
    2. Motoyama, Yasuyuki & Cao, Cong & Appelbaum, Richard, 2014. "Observing regional divergence of Chinese nanotechnology centers," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 11-21.
    3. Wang, Yuandi & Ning, Lutao & Prevezer, Martha, 2015. "Technological diversification in China from 1986 to 2011: Evidence from patent data," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 54-66.
    4. Hanley, Aoife & Liu, Wan-Hsin & Vaona, Andrea, 2011. "Financial development and innovation in China: Evidence from the provincial data," Kiel Working Papers 1673, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. repec:tpr:asiaec:v:16:y:2017:i:2:p:55-76 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. George Petrakos & Maria Tsiapa, 2001. "The Spatial Aspects of Enterprise Learning in Transition Countries," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(6), pages 549-562.
    7. repec:eee:tefoso:v:122:y:2017:i:c:p:128-138 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Fan, Peilei & Wan, Guanghua, 2006. "China's Regional Inequality in Innovation Capability, 1995-2004," WIDER Working Paper Series 153, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Yuandi Wang & Xin Pan & Lutao Ning & Jian Li & Jin Chen, 2015. "Technology exchange patterns in China: an analysis of regional data," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 252-272, April.
    10. Markus Eberhardt & Christian Helmers & Zhihong Yu, "undated". "Is the Dragon Learning to Fly? An Analysis of the Chinese Patent Explosion," Discussion Papers 11/16, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    11. Funke, Michael & Yu, Hao, 2009. "Economic growth across Chinese provinces : insearch of innovation-driven gains," BOFIT Discussion Papers 10/2009, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    12. Iris Claus & Les Oxley & Peilei Fan, 2014. "Innovation In China," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 725-745, September.
    13. Zhang, Min & Partridge, Mark & Song, Huasheng, 2018. "Amenities and Geography of Innovation: Evidence from Chinese Cities," MPRA Paper 83673, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Weiping Wu, 2007. "State Policies, Enterprise Dynamism, and Innovation System in Shanghai, China," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 544-566.
    15. Weiping Wu, 2010. "Managing and incentivizing research commercialization in Chinese Universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 203-224, April.
    16. Alfons Palangkaraya, 2010. "Patent Application Databases," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 43(1), pages 77-87.
    17. Aoife Hanley & Wan-Hsin Liu & Andrea Vaona, 2015. "Credit depth, government intervention and innovation in China: evidence from the provincial data," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 5(1), pages 73-98, June.
    18. Lutao Ning & Martha Prevezer & Yuandi Wang, 2014. "Technological diversification in China: Based on Chinese patent analysis during 1986-2011," Working Papers 55, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.


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