International R&D by multinational corporations (MNCs) from developing countries is on the increase. Some technology-intensive Chinese MNCs, which are playing an increasingly significant role in carrying out Chinese innovation strategies, have recently established global R&D networks. Based on the evidence from two technology-intensive Chinese MNCs in the telecommunications equipment industry, this paper focuses specifically on exploring the driving forces and organisational configurations of international R&D in these MNCs. Our findings and results show, firstly, that establishing home-base-augmenting/strategic R&D sites in developed and other developing countries is the predominant driving force behind R&D internationalisation in these Chinese MNCs. Secondly, in terms of the dispersion of R&D activities and the degree of cooperation between individual R&D units, each of these MNCs has successively gone through different organisational configurations of international R&D at its three strategic stages: ethnocentric centralised R&D, geocentric centralised R&D, and R&D hub model.
Keywords: R&D internationalisation, multinational corporations, MNCs, driving forces, organisational configurations, home-base-augmenting R&D, strategic R&D, innovation capabilities, developing countries, China