Global Production Network and the Upgrading of China's Integrated Circuit Industry


  • The authors are grateful for research funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and National Social Science Foundation (No. 07CZZ012). We are also thankful for the thoughtful comments and suggestions from Jason Dedrick and Michael Anderson, and from anonymous referees.


Using an analytical framework of the global production network (GPN), the present paper examines the external environment and the internal dynamics of China s integrated circuit (IC) industry. We analyze the transition of China s IC industry from a state-led integrated device manufacturers' model to deeper integration into the GPN. We also explore the technological sources, the upgrading dynamics as well as the positioning of different nodes of China s IC industry in the GPN. We conclude that the “East Asia model” of gradual industrial upgrading might not apply anymore in the new era of GPN. High-technology industries can now be upgraded based on a parallel evolution model. Policy implications for China's high-technology industrial upgrading strategies are drawn from our analysis.