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 and Fellow of Green Templeton College.

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 and a member of the Council for Global Economic Transformation co-chaired by Joseph Stiglitz and Michael Spence.

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
MNEmerge project: MNEs and global development
Valuation of early-stage technology
Understanding innovation in Low Income Countries
Diffusion of innovation in low income countries (DILIC)
The Role of Internationalisation on Technological Capability-Upgrading in Developing Countries...

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

Liu Shi
Research Student

Books and monographs

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 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
14 June, 2019
New UNCTAD report explores how countries can build digital skills to support sustainable development
07 June, 2019
New book co-authored by Xiaolan Fu explores impact of Chinese, European MNEs in Africa
23 May, 2019
New article co-authored by Xiaolan Fu examines impact of interactions between innovation players
24 April, 2019
Xiaolan Fu gives keynote on multinationals and local capacity building
04 April, 2019
Increasing trade in clean technologies holds great potential for developing countries, new report finds
19 December, 2018
Article co-authored by Xiaolan Fu about impact of returnees on Chinese firms wins IBR Best Journal Paper Award
22 November, 2018
TMCD co-hosts third China-UK Innovation and Development Forum in China
23 July, 2018
TMCD wins funding to research new digital business model aimed at empowering poorest
11 June, 2018
Xiaolan Fu speaks at inauguration of new UN Technology Bank
23 May, 2018
Xiaolan Fu appointed to Board of UNU-Merit


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