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Path-following or Leapfrogging in Catching-up: theCase of Chinese Telecommunication Equipment Industry


  • Xielin, Liu

    (School of Management, Graduate University Chinese Academy of Science)


In this paper, by reviewing the development of telecommunication equipment industry from fixed phone switches to later 3G, TD-SCDMA, we conclude that the degree of matching between existing foreign products with Chinese market is the primary incentive for Chinese companies to catch-up. The possibility to redesign the existing foreign product to match the market needs in China leads to further opportunity to catch-up. The accessibility of knowledge through government support, alliance with foreign companies or R&D work shapes the capability of Chinese companies to catch-up. The government support is important but not dominated. Leapfrogging strategy will meet more tough problems than path-following. Government plays a more important role in the leapfrogging than the path-following catching-up process. Open to the world and encouraging the collaboration and alliance activity can give companies in the developing countries more opportunity to access the latest knowledge. In the dynamic and advanced industry, FDI can be a very important factor for the technology transfer and catching-up.

Suggested Citation

  • Xielin, Liu, 2007. "Path-following or Leapfrogging in Catching-up: theCase of Chinese Telecommunication Equipment Industry," Papers in Innovation Studies 2007/1, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2007_001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lee, Keun & Lim, Chaisung, 2001. "Technological regimes, catching-up and leapfrogging: findings from the Korean industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 459-483, March.
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    innovation; catching-up and telecommunication equipment industry;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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