1st Edition

China as the Workshop of the World An Analysis at the National and Industrial Level of China in the International Division of Labor

By Yuning Gao Copyright 2012
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    Is China becoming the "workshop of the world" in the same way as Britain and the United States once were; or is China – as some multinational companies believe – simply a processing segment in global production networks? This book examines China’s role in the international division of labor: it analyzes the scale and scope of China’s manufacture; the type and relative sophistication of its exports in the world market; and its position in the global value chain. It shows that China monopolizes industrial production by being the processing center of world.

    Based on extensive original research, this book examines the structure of production in global manufacturing industries, applying both qualitative and quantitative methods. It analyzes each segment of the value chain, exploring in depth several specific industrial sectors. It concludes that China has become deeply integrated into global manufacturing industry; that China’s position in the value chain is still quite low, with relatively low research and development (R&D) and other similar high-value activities; but that, in some sectors, China is catching up rapidly, especially in newly emerging sectors.

    1. Background, Theoretical Framework and Literature Review  2. Scale and Scope of the "World Workshop": China’s Place in World Production  3. Pattern and Sophistication of the "World Workshop": China in the World Mark  4. The Competitiveness of the "World Workshop": China’s on the Service Part of Global Value Chain  5. Comparative Study of Three Industries of China in the International Manufacturing Division


    Yuning Gao is Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Winton Center for Financial History, University of Cambridge, UK.

    "China as the Workshop of the World provides an excellent analysis of China’s position in the international division of labour... All in all, this study is strong in the analysis and detail of China’s manufacturing industries and may potentially impact on a wide range of academic fields. It is a significant read for academic researchers, policymakers, and students of economics, finance, and business, in particular for those interested in the complexities and competitiveness of China’s manufacturing industries." - Mark Greeven, Zhejiang University; China Information, 2013.

    "Ultimately, is China a "world workshop", a "world factory", or neither? After going through an impressive amount of data with the potential to overwhelm non-specialist readers, Gao’s response is that China is much more like a "world workshop", and still has a long way to go to become a "world factory" (p. 199)." - Ivan Franceschini, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, The China Journal