1st Edition

China and Global Value Chains Globalization and the Information and Communications Technology Sector

By Yutao Sun, Seamus Grimes Copyright 2018
    180 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    192 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    President Trump has raised the intriguing question of bringing the manufacturing of companies like Apple back from China to the U.S. This book, however, argues that in this age of the knowledge-based economy and increased globalization, that value creation and distribution based on knowledge and innovation activities are at the core of economic development. The double-edged sword of globalization has transformed China’s economic development in the past few decades. Although China has benefitted from globalization and is now the second largest economy in the world, having become a global manufacturing power and the biggest exporter of high-tech products, it continues to be highly dependent on foreign sources of capital and technology.

    This book will explore the core of the Chinese economy from the perspective of the Global Value Chain (GVC), combining analysis of inward investment, international trade, Science and Technology and Innovation (S&TI) and economic development. Specifically, it investigates China’s evolving role in GVCs with some innovative Chinese companies emerging in the global market and China’s ongoing efforts to become an innovation-driven economy. China’s impressive economic record and experience provides an impressive role model for other developing countries.

    1 Introduction: a Chinese Landscape at the Age of Globalization

    2 A Theoretical Framework: Global Value Chain Distribution

    3 China’s Dependence on Foreign Technology in the GVC: A Macro View

    4 China’s Increasing Participation in the ICT GVC: A Meso View

    5 China’s Evolving Role in Apple’s GVC: A Micro View

    6 Conclusions and Discussions: China’s Advance and Challenges


    Yutao Sun is Professor at the Faculty of Management and Economics, Dalian University of Technology, China, and Marie Currie Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham. His research interests focus on S&T and innovation management and policy. He has published several articles in international journals, including Science.

    Seamus Grimes is Emeritus Professor at the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, National University of Ireland, Galway. His research in recent years has focused mainly on foreign investment in both Ireland and China. He has published more than 70 papers in international journals.

    In their new book, "China and Global Value Chains", Yutao Sun and Seamus Grimes provide a forensic analysis of China’s participation in Global Value Chains (GVCs), which has been a crucial driving force behind China’s spectacular development… Sun and Grimes analysis is excellent in that it is based on the sound theoretical framework of GVCs, extensive data, and many interviews with corporate executives. It may be a bit heavy going to read in parts. But it is most certainly worth the effort.’ — China Economic Review, March 2018, Full Review: https://chinaeconomicreview.com/china-and-global-value-chains-by-yutao-sun-and-seamus-grimes

    In sum, this book offers a comprehensive investigation of the challenges to China’s industrial upgrade and new development paths brought by the globalization of the ICT GVCs. The multilevel analysis of the ICT landscape in China encapsulates problems and challenges faced by the Chinese government, the Chinese ICT industry, and the Chinese ICT companies. This Chinese story exemplifies the contradiction between huge outward FDI flows and limited technology transfers under the global geopolitics of intellectual property, which highlights the importance of indigenous technology innovations and S&T developments. The multiscale approach used by this book depicts China’s role in the ICT GVC and draws a detailed image of the challenges faced by the Chinese economy, which can be useful to researchers in a wide range of disciplines such as telecommunication policy, economics, development studies, geography, politics, and other social sciences.’ — Growth and Change Journal, Volume 49 Issue 2, June 2018

    'Dense in content and tight in structure, this book examines a big question: why and how has China, as a late-developing country, been able to catch up technologically and advance economically, though not without challenges? Sun and Grimes are among the first to adopt the perspective of global value chains to examine systematically the ways in which China, as a country, has been involved in such chains to create and capture value.

    ...the authors have skilfully brought in a number of important topics, including outward foreign direct investment, national innovation systems, and global knowledge networks, which may be of interest to many readers. All in all, anyone who is interested in the trajectory of China’s economic development, particularly within the context of globalization, will find this book useful.' — China Information, Volume 32 Issue 3, p485-498

    'China and Global Value Chains is an incredible resource for policy makers and academics wanting to learn about Chinese innovation and manufacturing. It is really well researched and while being China-focused it will be a help to the Chinese government, which is okay!'Vivek Wadhwa, Distinguished Fellow, Harvard Law School; Carnegie Mellon’s School of Engineering, Silicon Valley; co-author of Your Happiness Was Hacked: Why Tech Is Winning the Battle to Control Your Brain — and How to Fight Back

    'Undergirded by a wealth of original data ... This book is a useful read for any observer of China’s manufacturing evolution. While the reader’s patience is tested by ... repetition of questions, statements, and other observations concerning China and GVCs in the introductory parts of the three empirical chapters, the authors present a strong narrative.'Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie (Journal of Economic and Social Geography), November 2018

    'The contribution of the book lies in its approach and comprehensive investigation of the challenges to China’s industrial upgrading and new development paths brought by the globalization of the ICT GVCs ... This book is a valid contribution to students and researchers who are interested in the ICT sector and its development in China.' — Regional Studies, November 2018

    'This book makes a timely contribution to the field by addressing the somewhat vexatious question of the role and status of Global Value Chains (GVCs) and ICT manufacturing in China at a time of change and uncertainty in the global economy. [...] The authors are well placed to offer an authentic, nuanced and empirically informed account of the current ‘state of play’ concerning China's level of contribution to GVCs in the ICT sector. [...] The book through finely tuned empirical analysis, seeks to delineate the extent to which China retains technological dependence on the most advanced industrial nations in its participation in GVCs and addresses the concomitant question, carrying policy implications, as to how greater ‘added value’ through the acquisition of intellectual property may be captured by indigenous producers.' — Journal of International Management, December 2018