The limits of brain-circulation : Chinese returnees and technological development in Beijing

Yun Chung CHEN, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Copyright © 2008 Pacific Affairs, University of British Columbia.

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This paper questions how far Saxenian's brain-circulation thesis applies to the role of the transnational technical community in ZGC in terms of technology transfer and industrial upgrading. The brain-circulation argument is based primarily on Silicon Valley-Hsinchu (Taiwan) experience. How well does it explain the ZGC experience? Understanding the limitations of the circulation thesis will help us to understand the real and limited effects of Chinese returnees in the technological development of Beijing's ZGC and perhaps of China in general.