ResearchResearch projects
Die Internationalisierung der Forschung und Entwicklung nach China – Eine Untersuchung deutscher multinationaler Unternehmen der Automobil-, Chemie- und Elektronikindustrie

Internationalization of R&D to China – Analysis of German multinational enterprises in the field of Automobile, Chemicals and Electronics

Led by:  Prof. Dr. Javier Revilla Diez
Team:  Dipl.-Geogr. Juliane Bielinski
Year:  2007
Funding:  own resources
Duration:  2007 - 2010
Is Finished:  yes

Following the trend of production relocation in multinational enterprises (MNE) an increasing globalization of R&D can be observed since the end of 1980s. Most important locations for setting up new R&D Center has been for long time mainly the U.S., Western Europe and Japan. But actually also emerging countries in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe are becoming interesting locations for R&D. Especially China is for many multinational companies an encouraging place for R&D. Actually there are about 700 to 1.000 foreign R&D facilities in China located. The reasons for this development differ. There are on the one hand market- and cost-related motives that make China an ideal place for R&D. But on the other hand there is also a technology-oriented motive that counts. The purpose of the Chinese government is a fast technological upgrading process through foreign R&D investments. China had in 2006 the second highest R&D expenditures after U.S. That means 13.4 percent of global R&D expenditures are expended in China.

This research project examines first the extent of and motives for R&D of German companies in China. Second we want to research the contribution of Chinese R&D facilities to the knowledge stock of the whole company. Within this project we will interview companies in Germany and China focussing on three key industries: the chemical industry, the automobile industry and the electronic industry including ICT. Interviews will be conducted with Headquarters in Germany and also with their Chinese subsidiary. Moreover we will speak with experts in the field of politics and science.


  • Bielinski, J. (2010): Forschungs- und Entwicklungstätigkeiten von multinationalen Unternehmen: Eine empirische Analyse der deutschen Automobil-, Chemie- und Elektronikindustrie. Europäische Hochschulschriften, Reihe V: Volks- und Betriebswirtschaftslehre, Band 3367. Peter Lang Verlag: Frankfurt.
  • Bielinski, J. (2010): Wissensvernetzung mit China: Der Aufbau von Forschung und Entwicklung durch deutsche Unternehmen in China. In: RegioPol - Zeitschrift für Regionalwirtschaft, 1/2010. S. 35-45.
  • Bielinski, J.; Brandt, A. (2010): China 2010: Standortstrategien deutscher Unternehmen und China-Kompetenzen der deutschen Regionalpolitik - Einige Anmerkungen zur Einführung. In: RegioPol - Zeitschrift für Regionalwirtschaft, 1/2010. S.3-11.
  • Bielinski, J. (2008): Innovation made in China? - Der Aufbau von Forschungs- und Entwicklungskapazitäten in China. ChinaContact 12/2008. S.26-27.

Presentations to Scientific Audiences:

  • Bielinski,J. (2010): Beneficial R&D in China? Empirical evidence from the German automobile, chemical and electronics industry Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). 14.-18. April 2010. Washington DC.
  • Bielinski, J. (2010): F&E-Tätigkeiten von deutschen Unternehmen in China. JOANNEUM Research, Institute of Technology and Regional Policy . 07.Mai 2010. Wien.
  • Bielinski, J. (2009): Globalisation of R&D to China: Empirical Evidence from German Multinational Enterprises. 6th PRIME Conference - Challenges in Research and Innovation Policy Studies, 29.Juni - 2. Juli 2009, Manchester.
  • Bielinski, J. (2009): Internationalization of R&D to China. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). 22.-27. März 2009. Las Vegas, NV.
  • Bielinski, J. (2008): Internationalisierung der FuE nach China – eine Untersuchung der deutschen Automobil-, Chemie- und Elektronikindustrie. Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie e.V., 24.Januar 2008. Berlin.
  • Bielinski, J. (2008): China – Forschung und Entwicklung statt Low-Cost-Produktion? Forum für Politik und Kultur e.V., 27.Oktober 2008. Hannover.
  • Bielinski, J. (2008): Internationalization of R&D to China: The case of German multinationals. International PhD course on Economic Geography. 4.-7. November 2008. Utrecht.
  • Bielinski, J. (2008): Internationalisierung der R&D: Deutsche multinationale Unternehmen in China. Jahrestagung des AK Industriegeographie. 14./15. November 2008 Eschwege.