Prof Xiaolan Fu

Professor of Technology and International Development

Xiaolan Fu (傅晓岚) is the Founding Director of the Technology and Management Centre for Development (TMCD), Professor of Technology and International Development, Fellow of Green Templeton College and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

She was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to the Ten-Member High Level Advisory Group of the UN Technology Facilitation Mechanism and to the Governing Council of the UN's Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries. She is also a member of the UN SDSN Leadership Council led by Jeffrey Sachs. She is winner of a 2021 Falling Walls Scientific Breakthrough Award, the 2019 winner of the CFA Asia-Pacific Research Exchange Award (CFA Insitute), the 2018 winner of the Best Journal Paper of the Year Award (European Academy of International Business), and the 2017 winner of the Best Paper Award (European Association of Management (EURAM) Innovation Strategic Interest Group).

Her research interests include innovation, technology and industrialisation; trade, foreign direct investment and economic development; emerging Asian economies; innovation and productivity in the UK/US.

She has published extensively in leading international journals independently or in collaboration with others. Her recent books include Innovation under the Radar (forthcoming), China's Path to Innovation, China’s Role in Global Economic Recovery and The Rise of Technological Power in the South. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, and serves on the editorial boards of Industrial and Corporate Change, International Journal of Technology Management, and four other international journals.

Professor Fu has received large research grants from funding bodies that include the European Commission, ESRC, EPSRC, British Academy, DFID, and the Cairncross Foundation. She also received the European Commission EFMD Gate2Growth 2005 'European Best Paper' Award, Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2012 Outstanding Paper Award, and European Association of Management (EURAM) annual conference Innovation Strategic Interest Group 2017 Best Paper Award.

She has been a consultant for UNDESA, UNCTAD, UNIDO, the World Bank, the OECD, the European Commission, the ILO, the Commonwealth Secretariat, UKTI and the Chinese government. Professor Fu serves on the Advisory Expert Group of the OECD Global Investment Forum and the DFID/ESRC Economic Growth Directorate (DEGP), and was President of the Chinese Economic Association (Europe) and CEA (UK) in 2010-11. She currently serves on the Management Committee of the Oxford University China Centre. She is also a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge and University of Tsinghua, and a Visiting Professor at Fudan University. As a leading China expert, she has participated in various media interviews and panel discussions including for the BBC, Sky News, CCTV, CGTN, People's Daily, and China Daily. In 2014 she was invited to address the UN General Assembly on ‘Science, technology and innovation in developing countries’.

Professor Fu came to Oxford from Cambridge University, where she was a Senior Research Fellow. Before coming to the UK, she had five years’ work experience in the business sector in China before embarking on her academic career.

See also:

Teaching & Supervision
In the media
Shining a light on 'under the radar' innovation in low income countries
Trade in Environmentally Sound Technologies: Implications for Developing Countries
Inclusive Digital Model Project
The Role of Internationalisation on Technological Capability-Upgrading in Developing Countries...
Diffusion of innovation in low income countries (DILIC)
Valuation of early-stage technology


Xiaolan Fu teaches Quantitative Research Methods for the MPhil in Development Studies and the MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy. She also contributes to the MPhil core course and offers an option on Technology and Industrialisation in Developing Countries.

Research Students supervised

Fandi Achmad
Research Student
Ludovic Arnaud
Research Student
Rong Chen
Research Student
Qian Ma
Research Student
Nwamaka Chidera Ogbonna
Research Student
Liu Shi
Research Student
Genevieve Smith
Research Student
Mengchen Suo
Research Student

Books and monographs

Fu, Xiaolan (with Bruce McKern, Jin Chen) (eds) (2022) 'The Oxford Handbook of China Innovation', Oxford University Press
Fu, Xiaolan (with George Owusu Essegbey and Godfred Kwasi Frempong) (2019) 'Multinationals, Local Capacity Building and Development: The Role of Chinese and European MNEs ', Edward Elgar
Fu, Xiaolan (with Pervez N Ghauri, Juha Väätänen) (eds) (2017) 'Multinational Enterprises and Sustainable Development', London and New York: Emerald
Fu, Xiaolan (2015) 'China's Path to Innovation', Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Fu, Xiaolan (ed) (2011) 'China's Role in Global Economic Recovery', Routledge. Translated and reprinted in Chinese by Yilin Press, 2012.
Fu, Xiaolan (with Luc Soete) (eds) (2010) 'The Rise of Technological Power in the South', Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Fu, Xiaolan (with A Cosh, A Hughes, R De Hoyos, A Eisingerich) (2006) 'Experiences of UK Mid-corporate Companies in Emerging Asian Economies', UK Trade & Investment
Fu, Xiaolan (2004) 'Exports, Foreign Direct Investment and Economic Development in China', London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan (Monograph)

Journal articles and special issues

Fu, Xiaolan (with P Ghauri and A Minayora) (2022) 'Digital technology-based entrepreneurial pursuit of the marginalised communities', Journal of International Management
Fu, Xiaolan (with J Li, A Van Assche, Lee Li and G Qian) (2022) 'The Belt and Road Initiative and international business policy: A kaleidoscopic perspective', Journal of International Business Policy 5 135-51
Fu, Xiaolan (with S Zeng, A Tanveer, Y Gu, M Irfan) (2022) 'Modeling the influence of critical factors on the adoption of green energy technologies', Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 168
Fu, Xiaolan (with M Q Fu, P Ghauri and J Hou) (2022) ' International collaboration and innovation: from a leading Chinese multinational enterprise', Journal of World Business 57 (4)
Fu, Xiaolan (with N Ogbonna, Pervez Ghauri, Xiaoqiang Xing) (2022) 'Platform-based business model and entrepreneurs from Base of the Pyramid', Technovation
Fu, Xiaolan (with E Avenyo, P Ghauri) (2021) 'Digital platforms and development: a survey of the literature', Innovation and Development
Fu, Xiaolan (with Rasmus Lema, Roberta Rabellotti) (2021) 'Green windows of opportunity: latecomer development in the age of transformation toward sustainability', Industry and Corporate Change 29 (5) 1193–1209
Fu, Xiaolan (with Yongjia Lin (Rebecca), Xiaoqing Fu(Maggie)) (2021) 'Varieties in state capitalism and corporate innovation: Evidence from an emerging economy', Journal of Corporate Finance 61
Fu, Xiaolan (with David Emes, Jun Hou) (2021) 'Multinational enterprises and structural change in developing countries: A survey of literature', International Business Review 30 (2)
Fu, Xiaolan (with Jing Zhang, Liming Wang) (2021) 'The impact of Covid-19 and post-pandemic recovery: China and the world economy', Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies 18 (4)
Fu, Xiaolan (with Yawen Li, Jizhen Li, Henry Chesbrough ) (2021) 'When do latecomer firms undertake international open innovation: Evidence from China', Global Strategy Journal
Fu, Xiaolan (with Xiaoqing (Maggie) Fu, Carmen Contreras Romero, Jianping Pan) (2020) 'Exploring new opportunities through collaboration within and beyond sectoral systems of innovation: Evidence from China', Industry and Corporate Change
Fu, Xiaolan (with Pervez Ghauri) (2020) 'Trade in intangibles and global trade imbalance', World Economy 44 (5) 1448-1469
Fu, Xiaolan (with Simone Corsi, Cintia Külzer-Sacilotto) (2020) 'Boundary Spanning Roles in Cross-border University-Industry Collaboration: the Case of Chinese Multinational Corporations', R&D Management 51 (3) 309-21
Fu, Xiaolan (2020) 'Digital transformation of global value chains and sustainable post-pandemic recovery', Transnational Corporations 27 (2) 157-166
Fu, Xiaolan (with Liu Shi, Shaomeng Li) (2020) 'The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Technology Innovation and Firm Wages: Empirical Evidence from OECD Economies', Revue d'économie industrielle 169 89-125
Fu, Xiaolan (with Xiaoqing (Maggie) Fu, Qun Bao, Hongjun Xie) (2020) 'Diffusion of Industrial Robots and Inclusive Growth: Labour Market Evidence from Cross-Country Data', Journal of Business Research
Fu, Xiaolan (with Peter J Buckley, Xiaoqing Maggie Fu) (2020) 'The Growth Impact of Chinese Direct Investment on Host Developing Countries', International Business Review 29 (2)
Fu, Xiaolan (with H Lin, G Yip, J Yang) (2019) 'Collaborative innovation for more value: how to make it work', Journal of Business Strategy
Fu, Xiaolan (with Yi Zhang, Kaihua Chen) (2019) 'Scientific effects of Triple Helix interactions among research institutes, industries and universities', Technovation 86-87 33-47
Fu, Xiaolan (with K Chen, Y Zhang) (2018) 'International Research Collaboration: An Emerging Domain of Innovation Studies?', Research Policy 48 (1) 149-68
Fu, Xiaolan (with Pierre Mohnen, Giacomo Zanello) (2018) 'Innovation and productivity in formal and informal firms in Ghana', Technological Forecasting and Social Change 131: 315-25
Fu, Xiaolan (with Zhongjuan Sun, Pervez N Ghauri) (2018) 'Reverse knowledge acquisition in emerging market MNEs: The experiences of Huawei and ZTE', Journal of Business Research
Fu, Xiaolan (with Jun Hou, Xiaohui Liu) (2018) 'Unpacking the relationship between outward direct investment and innovation performance: evidence from Chinese firms', World Development 102: 111-23
Fu, Xiaolan (with K Chen and M Kou) (2017) 'Evaluation of multi-period regional R&D efficiency: An application of dynamic DEA to China's regional R&D systems', Omega 74 103-14
Fu, Xiaolan (with Lutao Ning, Dylan Sutherland) (2017) 'Local context and innovation in China', Asian Business and Management 16 (3) 117-29
Fu, Xiaolan (with Jun Hou, Marco Sanfilippo) (2017) 'Highly skilled returnees and the internationalization of EMNEs: Firm level evidence from China', International Business Review 26 (3) 579–91
Fu, Xiaolan (with S Akter) (2016) 'The Impact of Mobile Phone Technology on Agricultural Extension Services Delivery: Evidence from India', Journal of Development Studies 52 (11) 1561-76
Fu, Xiaolan (with G Zanello, P Mohnen and M Ventresca) (2016) 'The creation and diffusion of innovation in developing countries: A systematic literature review', Journal of Economic Surveys 30 (5) 884-912
Fu, Xiaolan (with WT Woo, J Hou) (2016) 'Technological innovation policy in China: The lessons, and the necessary changes ahead', Economic Change and Restructuring 49 (2-3) 139-57
Fu, Xiaolan (with J Li ) (2016) 'Collaboration with foreign universities for innovation: evidence from Chinese manufacturing firms', International Journal of Technology Management 70 (2/3) 193-217
Fu, Xiaolan (with C Auffray) (2015) 'Chinese MNEs and managerial knowledge transfer in Africa: The case of the construction sector in Ghana', Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies 13 (4) 285-310
Fu, Xiaolan (2014) 'Trade, Technology and Development in LDCs, SSA and SVEs: An Assessment', Commonwealth Trade Hot Topics 104
Fu, Xiaolan (with H Xiong, J Li and Henry Chesbrough) (2014) 'Open innovation as a response to constrains and risks and the moderating role of ownership', Asian Economic Papers 13 (3) 30-58
Fu, Xiaolan (with F Wang, J Chen) (2014) 'Differential Forms of Technological Change and Catch-Up: Evidence from China', International Journal of Innovation Technology Management 11 (2)
Fu, Xiaolan (with R Mu) (2014) 'Enhancing China's Innovation Performance: The Policy Choices', China & World Economy 22 (2) 42-60
Fu, Xiaolan (with G Shen) (2014) 'Trade effects of US anti-dumping actions against China', World Economy 37 (1) 86-105
Fu, Xiaolan (with T Li, M Fu) (2013) 'Technology Development Path in an Open Developing Economy: Evidence from China', Applied Economics 45 (11) 1405-18
Fu, Xiaolan (with S Zhu) (2013) 'Drivers of Export Upgrading', World Development 51 221-33
Fu, Xiaolan (2013) 'Computerisation and efficiency of rural credit cooperatives: evidence from India', Journal of International Development 25 (3) 412-37
Fu, Xiaolan (with S Heffernan, M X Fu) (2013) 'Financial innovation in the UK', Applied Economics 45 (24) 3400-11
Fu, Xiaolan (with R Kaplinsky, J Zhang) (2012) 'The Impact of China on Low and Middle Income Countries' Export Prices in Industrial-Country Markets', World Development 40(8) 1483-98
Fu, Xiaolan (with C Helmers, J Zhang) (2012) 'The Two Faces of Foreign Management Capabilities: FDI and Productive Efficiency in the UK Retail Sector', International Business Review 21 (1) 71-88
Fu, Xiaolan (2012) 'How Does Openness Affect the Importance of Incentives for Innovation?', Research Policy 41 (3) 512-23
Fu, Xiaolan (with A Cosh, A Hughes) (2011) 'Organisation, Structure and Innovation Performance in Different Environments', Small Business Economics
Fu, Xiaolan (with J Zhang) (2011) 'Technology Transfer, Indigenous Innovation and Leapfrogging in Green Technology: Solar-PV Panel Industries in India and China', Journal of Chinese Economics and Business Studies 9(4) 329-47
Fu, Xiaolan (with H Xiong) (2011) 'Open Innovation in China: Policies and Practices', Journal of Science and Technology Policy in China 2(3) 196-218
Fu, Xiaolan (with Y Gong) (2011) 'Indigenous and Foreign Innovation Efforts and Drivers of Technological Upgrading: Evidence from China', World Development 39 (7) 1213-25
Fu, Xiaolan (2011) 'Processing-trade, FDI and Exports of Indigenous Firms: Firm-level Evidence from High-technology Industries in China', Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics 73 (6) 792-817
Fu, Xiaolan (with Carlo Pietrobelli, Luc Soete) (2009) 'The Role of Foreign Technology and Indigenous Innovation in Emerging Economies: Technological Change and Catch-up', World Development 39(7) 1203-12
Fu, Xiaolan (with Q Yang) (2009) 'Exploring the Cross Country Innovation Gap in Patenting: A Stochastic Frontier Approach', Research Policy 38(7) 1203-13
Fu, Xiaolan (2008) 'Foreign Direct Investment, Absorptive Capacity and Regional Innovation Capabilities in China', Oxford Development Studies 36(1) 89-110
Fu, Xiaolan (with J Zhang) (2008) 'FDI and Environmental Regulations in China ', Journal of Asia Pacific Economy 13(3) 332-53
Fu, Xiaolan (2007) 'Trade-cum-FDI, Human Capital Inequalities and Regional Disparities in China', Journal of Economic Change and Restructuring 40(1-2) 137-55
Fu, Xiaolan (with V N Balasubramanyam) (2005) 'Exports, Foreign Direct Investment and Employment: The Case of China', The World Economy 28(4) 607-25
Fu, Xiaolan (2005) 'Exports, Techical Progress and Productivity Growth in a Transition Economy: a Non-parametric Approach for China', Applied Economics 37(7) 725-39
Fu, Xiaolan (2004) 'Limited Linkages from Growth Engines and Regional Disparities in China', Journal of Comparative Economics 32(1) 148-64
Fu, Xiaolan (with VN Balasubramanyam) (2003) 'Township and Village Enterprises in China', Journal of Development Studies 39(4) 27-46


Fu, Xiaolan (with G Essegbey, G Frempong) (2017) 'MNEs and capabilities building in Ghana'. In Xiaolan Fu, Pervez N Ghauri, Juha Väätänen (eds) Multinational Enterprises and Sustainable Development , London and New York: Emerald
Fu, Xiaolan (with S Akter, L Bremermann, M Rosa, V Nattrodt, J Väätänen, R Teplov and I Khairullina) (2017) 'MNEs’ contribution to sustainable energy and development: the case of "Light for All" program in Brazil'. In Xiaolan Fu, Pervez N Ghauri, Juha Väätänen (eds) Multinational Enterprises and Sustainable Development , London and New York: Emerald
Fu, Xiaolan (with G Essegbey, G Frempong) (2017) 'Multinational enterprises, sustainable development and poverty alleviation: Past, present, and future'. Multinational Enterprises and Sustainable Development , London and New York: Emerald
Fu, Xiaolan (2016) 'Innovations in the Informal Economy: Recent research development and areas for future research '. In Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, Erika Kraemer-Mbula (eds) The Informal Economy in Developing Nations: Hidden Engine of Innovation? - New economic insights and policies , Cambridge University Press
Fu, Xiaolan (with J Hou) (2016) 'Key Determinants of Technological Capabilities for a Green Economy in Emerging Economies'. In R Vos, D Alarcon (eds) Going Green. Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development , World Bank
Fu, Xiaolan (with Q Sun) (2011) 'China in the Global Economic Crisis: Impact and Adjustment'. In X Fu (ed) China's Role in the Global Economic Recovery , Routledge
Fu, Xiaolan (with R Kaplinsky, D Kale) (2011) 'Global Manufactures Prices: How Do China's Exports Compare?'. X Fu (ed) China's Role in the Global Economic Recovery , Routledge
Fu, Xiaolan (with D Xu) (2011) 'The Private Sector and the Sustainability of China's Export Growth'. In X Fu (ed) China's Role in the Global Economic Recovery , Routledge
Fu, Xiaolan (with C Polzin) (2010) 'Sustainability of Technology Intensive Social Innovations: The Role of Absorptive Capacity and User Freedom of Choice'. In Xiaolan Fu, Luc Soete (eds) The Rise of Technological Power in the South , Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Fu, Xiaolan (with L Soete, L Sonne) (2010) 'Science, Technology and Development: Emerging Concepts and Visions'. In Xiaolan Fu, Luc Soete (eds) The Rise of Technological Power in the South , Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Fu, Xiaolan (2006) 'Exports, FDI, Linkages and Regional Disparities in China'. In S Yao, J Chen (eds) Globalization, Competition and Growth in China pp 163-81 , London: Taylor and Francis


Fu, Xiaolan (2014) 'What potential does open innovation hold for Asia', The Economist Intelligence Unit
Fu, Xiaolan (2013) 'Does FDI Provide Spoils, or Does It Just Spoil?', China Daily, January 25

Working papers

Fu, Xiaolan (with S Liu, T Li) (2013) 'The determinants and impact of outward direct investment from China: evidence from Guangdong Survey', TMD Centre Working Paper No 051
Fu, Xiaolan (with P-O Siebers et al) (2008) 'Enhancing Productivity: The Role of Management Practices', Advanced Institute of Management (AIM) Working Paper 065
Fu, Xiaolan (with M Fu, T Li) (2008) 'International and Intra-national Technology Spillovers and Technological Development Paths in Developing Countries', UNU-WIDER Research Paper No 2008/96
Fu, Xiaolan (with A Eisengerich, R De Hoyos) (2007) 'Clusters of Management Practices, Structural Embeddedness and Firm Productivity', SLPTMD Working Paper Series 008 University of Oxford
17 April, 2023
New UN report on green technologies in low-income countries draws on research by Xiaolan Fu
08 December, 2022
‘Hand to hand’ app helps poorest with COVID impact
01 July, 2022
New Oxford Handbook of China Innovation co-edited by Xiaolan Fu
12 May, 2022
Xiaolan Fu shares expertise on technology and innovation for development at UN events
29 November, 2021
ODID researchers set out proposal to boost vaccine production in Global South
01 October, 2021
Sabina Alkire, Xiaolan Fu and Frances Stewart named Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences
30 May, 2021
New article co-authored by Xiaolan Fu examines what determines firms' international collaboration
10 August, 2021
Xiaolan Fu chosen as winner of Falling Walls Science Breakthroughs of the Year 2021
26 July, 2021
Xiaolan Fu selected as finalist for Falling Walls' Science Breakthrough of the Year
13 July, 2021
New social enterprise offers affordable tech valuation tool to help innovators and startups access funding


10 Mar, 2022
'The Bottom Line: Changing China'. Xiaolan Fu took part in a BBC discussion hosted by Evan Davis
22 May, 2020
'Global value chains, innovation and international trade'. Xiaolan Fu discusses the short-term disruptions and likely long-term transformations caused by COVID-19 in a podcast for the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum
06 Apr, 2020
'The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on global value chain and policy choices for China'. Prof Xiaolan Fu wrote for the Financial Times about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global value chain and policy choices for Chinese companies and government
25 Mar, 2020
'Oxford scholar sees COVID-19 pandemic as "wake-up call for collaboration"'. Xiaolan Fu spoke to Zinhua News about the need for global corporation to address the pandemic
03 Mar, 2020
'The division of global value chains has been changing'. Xiaolan Fu interviewed by Xinhua Net on the likely impact of the coronavirus epidemic on the Chinese economy
08 Mar, 2018
'Chinese company files more European patent applications than any other'. Xiaolan Fu comments for China Daily
17 Aug, 2017
'Chinese researchers put value on ideas'. China Daily highlights research by TMCD on valuing new technologies
10 Jun, 2016
'China should continue to invest in science and technology'. Xiaolan Fu interviewed by China Daily
Research interests:

Industrialisation/technology and development; foreign direct investment and economic development in China; emerging Asian economies; innovation in US/EU