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From nationalism to pragmatism: IT policy in China

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2 Author(s)
K. L. Kraemer ; California Univ., Irvine, CA, USA ; J. Dedrick

The challenges and obstacles faced are many, but through foreign investment, joint ventures and technology transfer, China is slowly achieving hard-won advances in IT development and use. Its IT strategy has shifted from developing indigenous technological capabilities and producing a full range of computers to promoting IT use and producing PCs and components. Tariffs have been lowered to encourage use. Massive investments are planned to expand and upgrade the telecommunications network. To promote production, the government has established software parks, encouraged joint ventures with foreign IT firms, and organized state computer enterprises on a more commercial basis. China's policies have shown signs of success, as computer use and production have grown dramatically in recent years. The key to the success of China's technology policy seems to be rooted in pragmatism. Policy makers appear willing to change and adapt when existing policies are not achieving their goals or when new opportunities appear. This flexibility is critical when responding to the rapid changes in technology and international markets. If the trend toward increased market orientation and pragmatism continues through the transition to the post-Deng Xiaoping era, IT use and production should continue to flourish. An improved information infrastructure and increased IT use can in turn benefit the economy as a whole by improving economic productivity and by making timely market information available to producers and consumers in the huge Chinese economy

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 8 )