Toward Greater Pragmatism? China\'s Approach to Innovation and Standardization

Dieter Ernst
Content Type
Policy Brief
University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC)
China\'s innovation policy and its perceived threat to American innovation and competitiveness is a hot topic in U.S.-China economic relations. The role of standardization, together with intellectual property rights and government procurement, are at the center of this conflict. Fundamental differences in their levels of development and economic institutions lead to quite different approaches to standards and innovation policy by the two countries. China\'s strategy of pursuing indigenous innovation based on local standards faces internal challenges in trying to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders with conflicting interests, as well as external pressures to adopt international standards. Enhanced cooperation on standards and innovation policies should be possible, once the United States and China accept that, while their economic and innovation systems are different, they are deeply interdependent. Both sides would benefit, creating new Chinese markets for American firms and easing technology licensing restrictions for Chinese firms.
Economics, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology, Bilateral Relations
Political Geography
United States, China, America, Asia, North America