Date of Award

Spring 6-11-2023

Document Type

Thesis (Master's)

Department or Program

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

First Advisor

James E. Dobson

Second Advisor

Peter Deshazo

Third Advisor

David A. Rezvani


In recent years, digital technology has developed rapidly, including the digital hardware production, big data application, and digital service platforms, among others. Digital technology is considered a critical tool for promoting global economic growth, and governments of various countries have introduced industrial policies to try to catch the wave of its popularization to promote national economic growth. This thesis particularly focuses on two phenomena: (1) developed countries have considerable advantages in the development of digital technology based on their technological dominance and multinational corporations (MNCs), while developing countries face many technological development difficulties, such as excessive external import dependence, imbalance between software and hardware sector development, and dilemma of low-end lock-in; (2) China has become a unique challenger for the technological dominance of developed countries in digital technology-related industries. This thesis analyzes China's various policies to develop digital technology-related industries, the main difficulties faced by India and Vietnam, and raises two major arguments. First, the thesis provides a new explanation for how China has developed digital technology. It is that the China model of developing digital technology is a blend of selective market opening and targeted investments, all of which are under government control. This model is characterized by four main features, the exchanging partial domestic market for advanced technology (technology-for-market) strategy; selective import substitution strategy; state-led concentrated tackling of strategic industries strategy; and military-civilian fusion strategy. Second, it is not realistic for other developing countries, represented by India and Vietnam, to fully replicate China's policy path, but some policy options of the Chinese model can be used as a reference.

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