Global knowledge flows and active knowledge absorption of latecomer MNEs

Authors: Kerstin Schaefer*, Leibniz Universit├Ąt Hannover
Topics: Economic Geography, Business Geography, China
Keywords: knowledge flows, multinational companies, catch-up, R&D, China, patent data, technology
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Diplomat Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In order to gain global competitiveness, an increasing number of multinational enterprises (MNEs) from emerging markets engages in knowledge absorption in industrialized countries. In some cases, those MNEs were able to use their latecomer position to rapidly catch-up and finally achieve global leadership positions in their industry. We are interested in shedding light onto the question what strategies they used to close the knowledge gap to their more established competitors. We focus on Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd, a Chinese telecommunication equipment manufacturer from Shenzhen, as a successful case of a latecomer in their industry becoming competitive on a global scale. In this study, we use information about technology and location from patent- and publication data to track global knowledge flows over time and in between Huawei's domestic and offshore research and development (R&D) locations. We aim at finding patterns of how the company develops its various R&D hubs in China around core technologies and how the connection to the offshore R&D changes over time.

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