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China's High-tech Exports: Myth and Reality

  • Yuqing Xing

    (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)

China's leading position in high-tech exports is a myth created by outdated trade statistics, which are inconsistent with the trade based on global supply chains. Assembled high-tech products, made with imported key parts and components, accounted for 82% of China's high-tech exports. Current trade statistics mistakenly credit entire values of these assembled products to China, thus greatly inflate the export value. For instance, in 2009 China's export in the iPhone amounted US$4.6 billion, of which only 3.6% was the value added by Chinese workers; its annual export in laptop PC valued at US$52 billion, but assembly accounted for only 3% of the gross value. In addition, 83% of China's high-tech exports was attributed to foreign invested firms, in particular Taiwanese owned companies. Taiwan-IT companies have relocated 95% of their production/assembly capacity into and transferred mainland China to a top assembler of information and communication technology, such as laptop PCs, digital cameras and all i-products.

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Paper provided by National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in its series GRIPS Discussion Papers with number 11-05.

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Length: 12 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ngi:dpaper:11-05
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