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The People’s Republic of China’s High-tech Exports: Myth and Reality

  • Xing, Yuqing

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

Trade statistics portray the People's Republic of China (PRC) as the largest exporter of high-tech products. In this paper the author argues that the PRC’s leading position in high-tech exports is a myth created by outdated trade statistics, which are inconsistent with trade based on global supply chains. Current trade statistics mistakenly credit entire values of assembled high-tech products to the PRC, thus greatly inflating its exports. He suggests that a value-added-based approach should be adopted to accurately measure high-tech exports. Furthermore, if assembly is the only source of the value-added generated by PRC workers, in terms of technological contribution these assembled high-tech exports are no different from labor-intensive products, so they should be excluded from the high-tech classification.

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File URL: http://www.adbi.org/files/2012.04.25.wp357.prc.high.tech.exports.myth.reality.pdf
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Paper provided by Asian Development Bank Institute in its series ADBI Working Papers with number 357.

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Length: 12 pages
Date of creation: 07 May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:adbiwp:0357
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  1. Jason Dedrick & Kenneth L. Kraemer & Greg Linden, 2010. "Who profits from innovation in global value chains? A study of the iPod and notebook PCs," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 81-116, February.
  2. Yuqing Xing, 2011. "Processing Trade, Exchange Rates and China’s bilateral Trade Balances," GRIPS Discussion Papers 10-30, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
  3. Yuqing Xing & Neal Detert, 2010. "How iPhone Widens the US Trade Deficits with the PRC?," GRIPS Discussion Papers 10-21, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
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