Chinese foreign direct investment in R&D in Europe: a new model of R&D internationalization?

Alberto Di Minin, J. Zhang, P. Gammeltoft

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    67 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Along with their mounting economic might, emerging economies are becoming the object of ever closer analytical attention. Yet the phenomenon of international research and development (R&D) from multinationals headquartered there still remains neglected. The current study analyzes Chinese companies’ investment in R&D in Europe, focusing on three different aspects: technology exploration vs. technology exploitation as investment motive; locational strategies for R&D investments; and the dynamics of motives of overseas R&D units. The analysis proceeds to draw out differences between the R&D internationalization process of multinationals from developed economies and those from emerging economies. Evidence of Chinese R&D internationalization is provided through analyses of five cases of international R&D units set up by Chinese companies in Europe: ZTE Corporation, JAC Motors, Chang’an Motors, Hisense Group, and Hisun Group. Based on the analyses we find that the Chinese R&D units represent important differences from the conventional R&D internationalization process of developed-country multinationals. These differences come about when R&D internationalization is driven predominantly by learning rather than technological innovation, as the extant literature tends to assume. Chinese R&D units appear to evolve often from a strategy of pure technology exploration, over fusion of foreign technologies with R&D activities back home, into one of technology exploitation in foreign locations
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)189-203
    Number of pages15
    JournalEuropean management journal
    Volume30
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2012

    Keywords

    • METIS-285855
    • IR-83097

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