Course Code


Course Name

Innovation, Catch-up and China’s Development


Wednesday 15:30 pm – 18:15 pm




Dr. Chan Pak Cheung, Patrick

Course Description

Innovation has shaped society since civilization began. Imperial China was the most innovative society on earth, but it failed to join the 19th century industrial revolution. In the 20th century, the Communist Party of China (CPC) addressed that failure. Understanding how China manages innovation is critical to understanding humanity’s future.

The aim of this course is to provide a historical account of China’ s modern approach to innovation, technological catch-up, and her future ambition.

Students will learn the modern Chinese approach to management of innovation through a case study method. Finally, an emphasis is placed on encouraging students to take the roles of decision-makers to make strategy decisions for technology catch-up that help China’s industrial management. 

Course Outline

Part One: Innovation: “From doing science to understanding science”.

Week 1: Historical context of management of technological innovation in China (6-Sept.)  

Week 2: China’s technological innovation rise and fall (The Needham Puzzle) (13-Sept.)              

Week 3: Key components of management of technological innovation in contemporary China (20-Sept.)   


Part Two: Catch-up: “From imitation to Chinese innovation system”.   

Week 4: High Speed Rail (HSR) network – State planning for technological innovation (27-Sept.)

Week 5: Cisco and cloud-based education equipment – Entry of MNCs management of technological innovation into China (4-Oct.)

Week 6: Fuyao Glass – Global strategy for U.S. country risk (11-Oct.)

Week 7: Revision and Mid-term examination (18-Oct.)

Mid-Term Examination Week 7, 90 minutes

Week 8: SenseTime Group Business Model and Expansion – Artificial intelligence (AI) industry in China is currently the CPC’s top technology priority (25-Oct.)

Week 9: Redhill Capital strategy in a pandemic – Med- and biotech industries in China are the CPC’s high technology priority after (AI) industry (1-Nov.)

Week 10: China Merchants Bank (CMB) – Light banking, payments, and blockchain (8-Nov.)


Part Three: China’s Development: “From overcoming the middle-income trap to the era of Chinese multinationals”.    

Week 11: China’s technological innovation challenge – China’s economic transformation (15-Nov.)

Week 12: China’s mutual benefit and win-win strategies – Sustainable development of China’s open economy (22-Nov.)

Week 13: Chinese multinationals – Competing for global dominance (29-Nov.)

Assessment & Assignments

  1. Group Research (20%)
  2. Mid-term examination (30%)
  3. Final term paper (40%)
  4. Class participation and attendance (10%)

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of the policies, regulations and procedures.