Technology transfer in the context of competition Law in the Modern Chinese Market: Adequacy and scope for improvement

Electronic versions


  • Xu Lin


Technology transfer is crucial for China to gain advanced technology so as to facilitate its economy’s growth, as well as to improve its enterprise’s competitiveness. However, anti-competitive restrictions imposed on technology transfers not only severely restrict or eliminate the competition but also limit the technological advancement of China. The existing legislation was considered to be insufficient for effectively intervening in these technology transfer issues in China and requires much improvement. Above all, this thesis discusses how the application of competition law to technology transfer can achieve innovation, efficiency, and consumer welfare, and advocates the exploitation of an effects-based approach to assess the intervention of competition law with intellectual property rights (IPRs). The thesis observes that a number of anticompetitive issues have occurred in the Chinese technology market. Nevertheless, Chinese legislation on the interface of IPRs and competition law has been delayed, which is one of the reasons for the inadequacy evident in the historical review. Whilst the existing legislation cannot properly address these issues. Finally, the thesis provides proposals with comprehensive guidelines for China to deal with some primary anti-competitive issues, including price fixing, price discrimination, allocation of markets, tying, grant-back, and refusals to license. Based on an effects-based approach, the proposals draw on the experiences of the United States and the European Union, whilst also considering China’s unique characteristics. In sum, China requires guidelines that embody an effects-based approach, far more nuanced and sophisticated than current provisions, in order to address these complex and troublesome issues involving the interface of IPRs, competition law, and the effective operation of a modern, technology-dominated market.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Wei Shi (Supervisor)
  • Dermot Cahill (Supervisor)
Award dateJan 2017