The characteristics and historical development path of the globalizing Chinese automobile industry

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze the historical development and characteristics of the globalizing Chinese automobile industry. Design/methodology/approach – This study is positioned as an exploratory case study, using data triangulation techniques based on archival research and published reports of statistical agencies both at central government and single industry level. Findings – China's automobile industry represents an extraordinary case of a development path toward globalization in a transitional economy. One of the obvious characteristics of the auto industry is that it necessitates technology transfer and innovative learning, which can be regarded as an important aspect of maintaining competitiveness in industrialization and global competition. The automobile industry in China is also characterized by state intervention and industrial regulations. The state initiated open-door reform has led to a mixed regulatory mechanism including both market-based competition and the legacy of a command economy. Other major features are demonstrated as follows: state-owned auto enterprises have been gradually given more freedom in the decision-making processes; the Chinese auto industry has shown phenomenal growth in the country's economic development with an average annual rate of about 9 percent. This achievement combined with the increasing impacts of globalization of production and market expansion has undoubtedly led to the increasing inflows of foreign direct investment in the form of international partnerships between the auto-producing MNCs and major local Chinese firms as per the industrial policies in the Chinese automobile industry. Originality/value – This paper addresses an important topic, the historical development path of the Chinese automobile industry, but to date, it has received very little research attention. It advances the institution-based perspective and therefore develops a better understanding of changes in China's automobile industry over the past decades since 1949 and concludes that the combination of the influences of foreign technology, China's industrial policies and institutional dynamic processes has resulted in a unique dynamic development path for the globalizing Chinese automobile industry.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Ding, Q., & Akoorie, M. E. M. (2013). The characteristics and historical development path of the globalizing Chinese automobile industry. Journal of Technology Management in China, 8(2), 83-104.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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