R&D and patenting activities of foreign firms in China: The case of Japan

Chih Hai Yang, Toshiyuki Matsuura, Tadashi Ito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This study investigates the research and development (R&D) and patenting activities of foreign firms in China. Utilizing a panel dataset of Japanese affiliates during the period 2001–2007, we first examine the determinants of R&D activity and find that local market-oriented firms place more emphasis on R&D, whereas process export-oriented firms are less likely to conduct R&D. Affiliates within a large business group that has more affiliates have a higher propensity to undertake R&D. Using only firms with positive R&D expenditures, we next estimate the patent production function. Results indicate that the patent elasticity of R&D for Japanese affiliates is high, suggesting that they are more productive on patent production than other firms. Moreover, local market-oriented firms do need more patents to protect their products, whereas scientific firms demonstrate a lower willingness to register patents in China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-160
Number of pages10
JournalJapan and the World Economy
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Multinational enterprises
  • Patent
  • R&D


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