China in the international fragmentation of production: Evidence from the ICT industry
This paper investigates the position of China in the international fragmentation of production in the ICT industry, the most dynamic and globally dispersed sector in the world economy. The evidence shows that during the 1990s China dramatically increased its market shares in ICT products and now ranks among the three top world exporters. Moreover, China has upgraded from mere assembly of imported inputs to the manufacturing of high-tech intermediate goods. This supports the hypothesis that industrial upgrading occurred in some tradable sectors through technological learning associated with processing trade. Therefore, a pattern of specialization initially dominated by processing trade could be favourable to a country's long-term development, to the extent that entering at the lower end of high-tech sectors is promotive of catching up in more sophisticated technology-intensive production.
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