Confronting Chinese Innovation Mercantilism

Interest in and discussion about innovation practices in China continues.  Here’s another upcoming conference, which sounds like it could elicit controversy, from ITIF (the Information Technology and Innovation Forum): “Confronting Chinese Innovation Mercantilism“.  According to the press release “China is unabashedly seeking to favor Chinese-owned firms in order to dominate practically all sectors, especially the higher value-added, innovation-based sectors. Yet, the Washington consensus response can be summed up in one word: patience.”.

A separate stream of discussion in Washington has been on Chinese state-owned enterprises, which ITIF alludes to, including hearings yesterday on Capitol Hill on the role of SOE’s [State Owned Enterprises].  Prof. Curtis Milhaupt from Columbia has also written an excellent paper on this topic describing the organization of SOE’s, but without any strong proscriptive language. Prof. Milhaupt also lectured at Fordham on Feb. 16.

In the long run, there is only way forward on all these issues: informed, principled, and respectful engagement.  It isn’t a simple matter of patience as the ITIF study suggests.  Hopefully serious programs and reports will help us all pursue a reasonable way of engaging China.

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