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The long march to catch-up: A history-friendly model of China’s mobile communications industry

Daitian Li, Gianluca Capone and Franco Malerba

Research Policy, 2019, vol. 48, issue 3, 649-664

Abstract: This paper develops a history-friendly model of the process of catch-up by Chinese firms in the mobile communications industry. It aims to explain how the sectoral environment in terms of segmented markets and generational technological change facilitated the catch-up of domestic firms with respect to foreign multinationals. Segmented markets provided a nurturing environment in peripheral markets for the survival of domestic firms starting with low level capabilities in their infant stage. Generational technological change opened windows of opportunities for domestic firms to catch-up with foreign multinationals in new product segments. Segmented markets and generational technological change allowed domestic firms to leverage their initial advantages in peripheral markets to catch-up in core markets. Counterfactual simulations highlight that the process of catch-up was facilitated by relatedness across technological generations. This paper contributes to the literature on catch-up and industry evolution by illustrating the role of technological change and market regimes in the process of catching-up.

Keywords: Catch-up; Industry evolution; Mobile communications; Market regime; Technological change (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O30 O10 L10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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