Why did Shenzhen, a backwater fishing village, spawn the likes of industry leaders ZTE, Huawei, and Lenovo, while Suzhou, which previously scored massive investments from top “dragon head” foreign firms like Samsung and Philips, failed to spawn domestic innovation? What role did FDI and the local bureaucrats in charge of economic development play? And what lessons does this story hold for today’s Chinese industrial policy as well as development and innovation economics more broadly? For answers, we turn to Ling Chen, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and the author of the recent book Manipulating Globalization: The Influence of Bureaucrats on Business in China.
Jordan Schneider is a Beijing-based professional who works with Chinese internet companies on internationalization strategies. Back in the U.S., he spent time at the Eurasia Group and Bridgewater Associates. His Chinese landscape paintings "show promise."