Support our nonpartisan, nonprofit research and insights which help leaders address societal challenges.Donate
In this first of three China Center "Charts of the Week," Conference Board economist Janet Hao examines China's intangible investments.
Intangible investment – an important source of growth for advanced economies – refers mostly to capital expenditure beyond physical business capex (e.g. plants, machinery, etc.) in things like research, product design and marketing, software-enabled organizational capabilities, and human capital development.
China’s intangible investment share of GDP has risen swiftly over the past two decades, but despite the substantial top-line growth, it appears that overall spending on intangibles in China has largely been policy driven, rather than deriving from firm-level innovation.
This chart shows “intangible investment” in China as a share of GDP, broken down by three categories: Software, Innovative Property and Economic Competency, as estimated by The Conference Board.