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China's Leap into the Information AgeInnovation and Organization in the Computer Industry$
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Qiwen Lu

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198295372

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198295372.001.0001

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Learning and Innovation in a Transitional Economy

Learning and Innovation in a Transitional Economy

(p.1) 1 Learning and Innovation in a Transitional Economy
China's Leap into the Information Age

Qiwen Lu

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the growth of the Chinese computer market and how Chinese companies are able to catch up in a high-tech industrial sector such as computers. It provides an overview of the case studies of four leading Chinese computer enterprises: Stone Group, Legend Computer Group, Founder Group, and China Great Wall Computer Group and how these enterprises acquired the technological competencies that enabled them to compete with foreign multinational companies. The rise of these indigenous Chinese computer companies was the result of a long-term process of capability building or technological training, which could be traced back to government initiatives reforming China's science and technology system in the early 1980s. This chapter proposes that Chinese computer enterprises followed a unique model of technology learning coupled with unique organizational and institutional arrangements. A combination of indigenous technology capabilities and specific conditions of local demand created the technology-push and the demand-pull for indigenous product innovations, hence leading to the possibility of the unique top-down mode of technology learning.

Keywords:   Chinese computer market, computers, Stone Group, Legend Computer Group, Founder Group, China Great Wall Computer Group, technology learning, innovations

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