Export intensity, domestic competition, and product innovation in an emerging economy

Zhenzhen Xie, Jiatao Li

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have found contradictory evidence about the relationship between a firm's exporting intensity and its success in product innovation. Data on 6,197 firms in the Chinese auto industry were analysed to demonstrate that the relationship is actually inverted-U shaped, at least in that specific context. Exporters in emerging economies can be technology and market leaders in their domestic markets, but internationally they tend to be technology and market laggards. When the export intensity is low firms that also export can benefit from knowledge gained in overseas markets, improving their product innovation. When the export intensity is very high, focused exporters tend to focus on the overseas markets where they may not have competitive advantages in product innovation, developing fewer product innovations. Furthermore, the paper found that the inverted-U shaped relationship between export intensity and product innovation is strengthened by more intense competition in the home market.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-121
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Technology Management
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Automobiles
  • China
  • Competitive advantage
  • Emerging economies
  • Exporting
  • Product innovation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • General Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Export intensity, domestic competition, and product innovation in an emerging economy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this