“Sino-European joint ventures and the risk of technology transfers”, Rem Korteweg et al. (Clingendael Institute, The Netherlands)

High-tech joint ventures are a key element in EU-China economic relations. They can serve as a conduit for technology transfers from Europe to China, enabling China’s industrial agenda but also potentially weakening the EU’s ambitions to pursue ‘strategic autonomy’. This research seeks to understand the degree to which Sino-European joint ventures play a role in facilitating technology transfers in strategic industrial sectors.

High-tech plays a central role in the growing geopolitical competition among the world’s great powers. The Chinese government, especially through its ‘Made in China 2025’ strategy, has made its industrial and geopolitical objectives clear, fueling concerns that European firms are inadvertently helping China to meet its strategic ambitions at the expense of European ones. Of course, not all joint ventures are vehicles for technology transfer, or are of strategic economic concern, but some are. And some of those involve technology transfers of technologies that are relevant to the security and geopolitical interests of the EU.

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