Transferring Technology to China

Jack N. Behrman, William A. Fischer, Dennis F. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Chinese government has placed great emphasis on acquisition of foreign technology which would enhance the capabilities of existing enterprises. Yet China lacks many of the conditions which would make such transfers effective. The mere acquisition of technology does not assure the contributions sought. There must be a system for receiving the technology and utilizing it effectively, as well as a process of cardful selection, so that it is not wasted through inefficiency or non-use. Transnational corporations (TNCs) themselves are not always aware of what is necessary for recipients to utilize the technology effectively. Some have simply transferred technology embodied in equipment or in written or oral communication, leaving the recipients to use it in the best way they see fit. In many cases there is insufficient ability in China to receive and utilize current technology. Effective technology transfers have four pre-requisites: The ability and willingness of the owner of the technology to transfer it, and the willingness and ability of the recipient to absorb it. ff any of these is absent, the expected contribution is not obtained. Most of thq attention paid to technology transfers is focussed on the willingness of the licensor and the willingness of the licensee or his government to participate in the transfer. Much less attention has been paid to the relative abilities of each partner, but these are much more important in consummating the actual transfer and making it effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-67
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Trade Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business and International Management


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