Multinationals are pouring billions of dollars into China-based R&D projects, to tailor their products to the country's burgeoning middle class, write Max Magni and Yuval Atsmon. Still, innovating in China can be tough, and it's important to be clear about strategic goals. "Only innovation that rests on a deep understanding of the Chinese consumer, and how behaviors change over time, will help a company maintain excitement about its products," Magni and Atsmon write.

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