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.
- Global value chains
- Industrial robots
- High-tech medical devices
- China’s national plans
- Local government policies
- COVID-19 pandemic
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Jing Zhao acknowledges the support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71903028).
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Zhao, J., Gereffi, G. (2022). Upgrading of Chinese Domestic Firms in Advanced Manufacturing: Evidence from Industrial Robots and High-Tech Medical Devices. In: Gereffi, G., Bamber, P., Fernandez-Stark, K. (eds) China’s New Development Strategies. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-3008-9_8
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