China is facing a slowing economic growth. The target for the years following 2016 is set to a yearly GDP growth of around 6,5 percent. Both researchers and politicians are saying that in order for China to to reverse the decreasing trend, Chinese companies will have to innovate in new ways. But what does innovation mean? Today, innovation has become a global buzzword that politicians and the media flaunt in speeches and in articles. But is it stripped of meaning, or does it refer to any concrete measures? This thesis looks behind the buzz and analyzes what innovation means in a Chinese context. This thesis explores the term chuangxin (创新), “innovation”, in Chinese discourse. It analyzes its meaning in official political documents and how it is negotiated by three other actors in Chinese society: the media, prominent business leaders and professionals working with innovation. The key questions addressed in this thesis are: What concretely are these actors referring to when talking about innovation, and why do they believe it is of importance for China’s economic and political future? By applying the theoretical framework of how globalization affects innovation in emerging markets, the thesis shows that chuangxin (创新) in Chinese discourse is similar to the common international and Chinese definitions of the term innovation. It refers to new ideas within science and technology that are translated into a good or service for which customers will pay. This in return genereates economic or social value. Furthermore, the thesis finds that innovation serves as an ideological symbol for China’s future, as it is the combination of factors that are going to reverse decreasing economic growth and fuel the engine of China’s continued development. Although numerous studies on innovation in China have been conducted before, this thesis contributes with new insights to and aspects on how the term chuangxin is negotiated throughout several parts of Chinese society. In addition to showing how the government and the media deploy the term, the thesis contributes to the field by also taking into consideration the aspects of prominent business leaders and a selected group of people working with innovation and entrepreneurship in China.