China’s Headquarters Economy: A New Path towards Industrial Upgradation

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By Vivian Ni

Mar. 15 – China, the world’s largest production base, is no longer satisfied with lying at the lower levels of global supply chains and holding just the manufacturing arms of MNCs. Instead, the country has begun offering a warmer welcome to foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) that actually bring their “brains.” Foreign-invested headquarters (HQs) functioning in the realm of management, investment as well as research and development (R&D) are burgeoning in China’s major cities, and have impacted significantly on both city functions and human resource movements.

China’s headquarters economy
An HQ economy is defined as being sufficiently resource-rich to attract a cluster of corporate HQs. Not only does it improve the operational efficiency of FIEs by gathering the most knowledge-intensive segments of corporate value chains in “center cities,” it also brings desirable economic benefits to its surrounding areas by optimizing resource distributions among different regions and industrial chains. Continue reading…

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