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中国的政策如何扼杀全球创新

For many years, the prevailing view was that the rapid growth of China’s economy after it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 had a positive effect on developed economies.

Any deleterious impacts were thought to be largely temporary and borne by only a modest number of workers in particular regions. But as more and better research has since been performed, it has become clear that this view was overly optimistic, and the harms were worse than many had forecasted, not just on jobs but on the pace of technological innovation.

Damaging Mercantilism

In fact, as一个新的报告从信息技术和创新基金会(ITIF)显示,仔细审查学术文学和行业案例表明,中国经济增长和贸易扩张的效果由腐蚀性的“创新商品”政策和实践引发了负面影响在大多数发达国家的创新,包括北美,欧洲和日本。

问题并未出现在加入WTO的中国。事实上,大多数研究发现,与低工资国家的全球融合增加实际上增加了发达经济体的创新,因为它让他们的经济专门从事基于创新的活动。

Unfair Advantage

But China was different because of its systemic embrace of mercantilist policies, such as showering massive subsidies on domestic companies, manipulating its currency to gain an unfair price advantage in foreign markets and obtaining massive amounts of foreign IP without paying for it.

这些和其他政策赋予中国公司不公平的优势 - 平均而言,这与外国竞争对手的创新程度明显不那么重要,这是中国创新商品努力的原因。

These unfair policies created such intense competitive pressures that many foreign companies have either closed or cut back on their R&D expenditures and other innovative activities. And as China dramatically steps up its efforts with initiatives such as its2025年中国制造计划,它可能对全球创新进展的整体速度造成更大的危害。

How Have Chinese Policies Been Harmful to Foreign Innovation?

要了解为什么,了解创新产业的本质是很重要的。这些行业通常具有高固定的设计和开发成本,但生产的边际成本相对较低。

换句话说,第一个产品的成本非常高,而后续物品的成本要昂贵得多。认为软件或喷气式飞机。在这些行业中,较大的市场更好地使公司能够将这些固定成本摊销这些成本,因此单位成本可能会降低和再投资的收入更高。因此,大多数创新行业的公司都是全球性的。

If policymakers want to ensure robust rates of global innovation going forward, working to ensure China plays by the rules it agreed to when it joined WTO is a critical task.

But Chinese mercantilist policies limit foreign firms’ market share. For example, China’s indigenous innovation policies are designed to favor Chinese-owned innovation firms’ foreign markets or reduce sales in the Chinese market from foreign firms, which often reduces profits by leading to market overcapacity and lower prices than what market forces would produce.

采取中国的太阳能政策

After the 2008 Great Recession, the Chinese government poured hundreds of billions of yuan into its solar energy firms to help them gain global market share.

结果,中国晶体太阳能光伏价格下降2009年至2017年间达到85%- - -China exported 38% of the world’s solar panelsin 2018.If the Chinese firms were innovation leaders, this might advance clean energy innovation. But they are not. At least through the 2000s,中国的太阳能公司与美国和欧洲太阳能公司的研发收入投入了更低的收入 - 在控制人口时,中国的清洁能源专利占美国水平的4%。

这种政府诱发的产能过剩的结果是美国创新的太阳能公司破产。

IP是另一个例子

Another form of excess competition relates to intellectual property (IP). The purpose of IP protection (e.g., patents) is to enable firms investing in innovation to make enough returns over a fixed period of time to recoup their costs and more.

As such, weak IP protection, state-sanctioned IP theft and non-market-based technology transfer weaken innovation. If Chinese firms are able to enter and remain in the market because they obtain an innovator’s IP at less than the fair market price (either through theft or coerced transfer), they are able to siphon off sales that would otherwise go to innovators. Why would a firm invest in IP when other firms could copy it to compete against them?

This is why most scholarly econometric studies examining the impact of Chinese competition on R&D and innovation in other economies have found the effect to be negative, harming innovation.

一项研究,也许是最受关注的是Foreign Competition and Domestic Innovation: Evidence from U.S. Patentsfrom NBER. It documents the “robust, negative impact of rising Chinese competition on firm-level and technology class-level patent production.”

拖延全球创新

Accompanying this fall in innovation, global employment, sales, profitability and R&D expenditure alldecline within trade-exposed firms. Similar findings apply to the impact on innovation in other nations and regions, including Canada, Europe, Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam.

In short, while Chinese innovation may benefit from its array of unfair policies, foreign innovation does not. And because, at least for now, companies in advanced economies are more innovative than Chinese companies, the net result is a drag on global innovation.

因此,如果政策制定者希望确保全球创新的强劲率,致力于确保中国通过规则扮演,它同意加入WTO时是一项关键任务。

罗伯特阿特金森

信息技术和创新基金会主席 @robatkinsonitif

罗伯特阿特金森is the founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington, DC-based policy think tank.

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