Upgrading of Chinese Domestic Firms in Advanced Manufacturing: Evidence from Industrial Robots and High-Tech Medical Devices

Book Section (Chapter)

Utilizing diverse qualitative and quantitative evidence from two advanced manufacturing sectors, industrial robots and high-tech medical devices, this chapter identifies the upgrading trends of Chinese domestic firms from a global value chain (GVC) perspective, discusses the driving forces behind these trends, and provides a detailed look at national and local policies supporting these upgrading efforts. We find that Chinese firms are relatively weak in the global markets of the two sectors but have built competitiveness in the domestic market. Key determinants for the upgrading of local firms include both internal factors such as a very large domestic market, national guidance by the central government, policy support by local governments, innovation on key components and innovative products, as well as external factors such as global markets, foreign direct investment, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the global policy environment. These factors are likely to continue pushing upgrading in the coming years. The commonalities and differences related to upgrading in the industrial robot and high-tech medical device sectors are discussed. We highlight implications of our analysis for China’s future upgrading in advanced manufacturing GVCs.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zhao, J; Gereffi, G

Cited Editors

  • Gereffi, G; Bamber, P; Fernandez-Stark, K

Published Date

  • September 17, 2022

Book Title

  • China’s New Development Strategies: Upgrading from Above and from Below in Global Value Chains


  • 8

Start / End Page

  • 195 - 233

Published By

Place of Publication

  • Singapore


  • 39

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/978-981-19-3008-9_8