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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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California (and Hsinchu) Dreaming

California (and Hsinchu) Dreaming

China’s Flailing Efforts to Replicate Technology Clusters

(p.43) 2 California (and Hsinchu) Dreaming
Paper Tigers, Hidden Dragons

Douglas B. Fuller

Oxford University Press

China has implemented policies that try to mimic the cluster advantages of Silicon Valley or, closer to home, Taiwan’s Hsinchu. Through an examination of two separate policy areas related to upgrading and innovation, development zones and venture capital, this chapter argues that central and local government policies aimed at creating ever more technologically capable firms in vibrant clusters of techno-entrepreneurship have by and large failed to accomplish these goals. The development zones’ failure is due to the local officials’ incentives being geared towards seeking ever more investment rather than concentrating on upgrading local industrial activities within the zones. Domestic venture capital suffers from the typical problems of China’s state-owned firms because most of the domestic venture capital firms are linked to the state. However, foreign venture capital has proven helpful in fostering technology entrepreneurship in China.

Keywords:   China, Taiwan, venture capital, development zones, upgrading, innovation, incentives, Silicon Valley, Hsinchu, Singapore

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