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Technology transfer in China is a Two-way Street: China’s Technology Transfer Landscape

Updated:2018-10-9 10:29:12    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:136

China's intellectual property practices may spark a backlash from the Trump administration. President Donald Trump's administration is considering using rarely invoked U.S. trade laws to fend off China's demands that foreign companies share their technology in return for access to the country's vast market, a person familiar with U.S. discussions said on August 2nd, 2018.

Technology transfer, also called transfer of technology (TOT), is the process of transferring (disseminating) technology from the places and ingroups of its origination to wider distribution among more people and places. It occurs along various axes: among universities, from universities to businesses, from large businesses to smaller ones, from governments to businesses, across borders, both formally and informally, and both openly and surreptitiously.

From semiconductors to software, and dumpsters to data, technologies have traveled to China. But it is a marriage of free wills, not an abduction of unwilling partners. China spent 28 billion US dollars in buying licensed patents in 2017 - that's 15 times more than 2001 when it joined the World Trade Organization (WTO). And the US patent owners are the biggest beneficiaries.

Technology comes and goes. You may think China is mostly a receiver. Wrong! China also gives back. Patents awarded to international firms saw a 40-percent surge between 2012 and 2016. Guess who gets the most? The US. America is the largest recipient of Chinese patents. The number has doubled in five years. In 2017, revenue from patent export from China was 4.8 billion US dollars, a three-time jump year on year.

The diffusion of knowledge is an organic process. It encourages taking the lead, but also allows catching up. If China was a toddler in 1978, it became a teenager when it joined the WTO in 2001. And as any young life, China learned from others, and fast. Sometimes it makes mistakes, but it is always trying to do the right thing.

Now China has grown up and became a young adult. It started to work and pay back - that should be a new land of promises for itself and the world.

In Chinese, we say “恩人者圣,自恩者愿”. To benefit yourself is human, to benefit others is divine. The story of technology is always one of benefiting ourselves and others. (Source: CGTN)

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