Innovation and Ethics in China


Over the past decade, China has evolved from a provider of cheap labor to a significant player in the innovation arena. The commentaries in this issue, intended to provide updates on the best of our articles on China from the past ten years or so, highlight the speed with which the country’s innovation complex has developed. China is no longer just the world’s factory—it’s now a heavyweight innovator in its own right, bent on leading the world in key technological arenas, from telecommunications to artificial intelligence. And multinational companies seeking access to what Judith Irwin calls “the market of all markets,” with its millions of middle class consumers, must be prepared to meet the country on its own terms. To succeed in China, these companies will have to do more than innovate in China: They’ll have to collaborate closely with the Chinese government, universities, businesses, researchers, and consumers. They’ll have to engage with Chinese culture in a whole new way. And they’ll have to find a way to bridge the gap between Chinese and Western ethical and legal frameworks.