Does China's research and development funding reach the right firms?

Chinese investments in research and development (R&D) have burgeoned since the turn of the century, increasing more than tenfold in absolute terms since 2000 and reaching a high of 2.4 percent of GDP in 2020. As the world’s second biggest spender on R&D after the United States, China is certainly a force to be reckoned with on the global innovation landscape. Its fresh push toward innovation-led growth and stated ambition of becoming a technological innovation powerhouse by 2050 have prompted questions: is China on course to attain its goals, and will greater investments in R&D—as promised by Premier Li Keqiang—get it there?

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