The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 252–272 | Cite as

Technology exchange patterns in China: an analysis of regional data

  • Yuandi Wang
  • Xin Pan
  • Lutao Ning
  • Jian Li
  • Jin Chen


There is much interest in technology exchange in the literature, but relatively little research directly provides understanding of technology exchange patterns at a regional level within a country. This study uses a unique dataset of Chinese patent licensing to study technology exchange patterns in thirty Chinese provinces since 2000. Our results indicate that five distinct technology exchange patterns have recently emerged in China: importers, exporters, self-sustainers, active generalists, and isolationists. To illustrate a refined map of these exchange patterns, we used a blockmodel analysis. We found two leading blocks in China that are active in technology exchange within and across blocks. Although many less-developed provinces have begun participating in regional technology exchange networks, the scale of technology exchange in these provinces is lower, and they are more active as net technology importers. Our results provide the basis for firms to form technology strategies and for governors to promote the growth of regional technology exchanges.


Technology exchange Patent Technology licensing Regional patterns China 

JEL Classification

O33 R11 



The authors wish to thank anonymous referees for their comments and suggestions. This research is sponsored by projects grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no: 71302133), Youth Project of Ministry of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences Planning Funding (grant no. 13YJC790154), and Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education (grant no.20130181120057).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuandi Wang
    • 1
  • Xin Pan
    • 1
  • Lutao Ning
    • 2
  • Jian Li
    • 3
  • Jin Chen
    • 4
  1. 1.Business School of Sichuan UniversitySichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.School of Business and ManagementUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.School of Business AdministrationHunan UniversityChangshaChina
  4. 4.School of Economics and ManagementTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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