China's Innovation Ecosystem: the localisation dilemma


Based on a member survey and in-depth interviews, the report highlights that the complexity of China’s business environment is necessitating a wide range of research and development (R&D) strategies to be deployed by European companies.

There are several positive market factors steering a large share of European companies towards deeper localisation. At the same time, long-standing issues deter others from bringing their technology into China, with many just engaging in development of existing products, while working on their core technologies outside of China.

While business confidence was significantly eroded by China’s stringent zero-COVID policy and the subsequent lockdowns and travel restrictions, many European companies expect this to be restored, though it will likely take years. However, the impact that geopolitics is having on the perceived stability of China’s business environment is only expected to worsen.

This report is the second of a planned three roundsof surveys and interviews, which fall under a consortium projectsupported and funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research. It is a result of collaboration between the European Chamber and MERICS, with input from partners at Ruhr University Bochum, and the University of Duisburg-Essen.

Please click here to read English and Chinese press release.

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China's Innovation Ecosystem: right for many, but not for all


Based on a member survey and in-depth interviews, the report (published in June 2022) highlights that while there are many positive aspects to undertaking R&D in China, there are still areas where European companies need to exercise caution.

The report finds that European companies see enormous value in the variety of collaboration partners available in China, ranging from established national champions to companies that are part of China’s vibrant start-up ecosystem, and inventive scientists and researchers. Other notable positives include the size of China’s market and the fast pace of commercialisation of R&D results, both of which were recognised by 68% of survey respondents.

As a result, some European companies are increasingly integrating China R&D with their global efforts, and while the majority are using China R&D to refine existing products, more and more are creating new goods and services in China, including as part of their global portfolios.

However, the report also reveals the risks of engaging in R&D in China.

Please click here to read English and Chinese press release.

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