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Paper Tigers, Hidden DragonsFirms and the Political Economy of China's Technological Development$
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Douglas B. Fuller

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198777205

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198777205.001.0001

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IC Design

IC Design

From Reverse Engineering to Innovation

(p.156) 6 IC Design
Paper Tigers, Hidden Dragons

Douglas B. Fuller

Oxford University Press

This chapter evaluates various policies to upgrade China’s integrated circuit (IC) design capabilities including: the 908 Project, the 909 Project, National IC Design Bases, and Circulars No. 18 and No. 4. These policies have been largely ineffectual in upgrading IC design capabilities. The hybrids’ design capabilities have been far ahead of domestic firms and MNCs since 2001, but the MNCs have become more and more active from 2005 onward. In order to highlight the differences between types of firms, the chapter compares the technical skill-levels achieved by firms representing a large segment of the design firm population, and presents case studies of local firms hoodwinking money from the state (ARCA and Hanxin), a serial entrepreneur behind two successful hybrid firms (Howard Yang), and a firm reliant on state procurement (BLX) as well as several anonymous case studies of MNCs and hybrids based mainly on firm-level interviews and Chinese language sources.

Keywords:   China, integrated circuit design, fabless design, industrial policy, multinational corporations, semiconductors, integrated circuit industry

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