Catch-up and Radical Innovation in Chinese State-Owned Enterprises
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Catch-up and Radical Innovation in Chinese State-Owned Enterprises

Exploring Large Infrastructure Projects

Xielin Liu, Xiao Wang and Yimei Hu

This original book is a unique and original study on how, in the past decade, Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have achieved technological innovation in the large infrastructure sector. It reveals a ‘new world’ of Chinese innovations, showing that SOEs are willing to innovate and more than capable of doing so. Based on findings from first-hand data and years of in-depth observations, this book shows how the innovation ecosystem perspective incentivizes and facilitates Chinese SOEs’ innovation and highlights entrepreneurial role of the government.
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Chapter 4: TD-SCDMA, LTE-TDD, and China Mobile: catch-up and innovation in the Chinese telecommunications industry

Xielin Liu, Xiao Wang and Yimei Hu


When there is no powerful competitor in the market, it is relatively viable for SOEs to foster innovation capabilities and developing leading technologies. But with existence of such competitors, as a latecomer, how can an SOE catch up and excel? Based on retrospection on the failure of TD-SCDMA (3G) which were strongly led by the government and undermined by ineffectual coordination among the technology suppliers, this chapter demonstrates how China Mobile, taking the windows of opportunity in the Chinese telecommunications industry and functioning as a lead user, built up an international innovation ecosystem and furthered cooperation among the players for developing the LTE-TDD (4G) technology and its widespread adoption.

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