Nowadays, international cooperation programs support the collaboration between professors and designers educated in different parts of the world, and the global diffusion of design knowledge. In the paper, we report some results of a research developed in a Chinese-Italian collaboration between design researchers; the research focuses on the comparison of design methodologies for education and professional work, aimed at the development of innovative products and, notably of connected objects. The mapping of the contents of education programs, together with the investigation of tools and design approaches actually employed by Chinese young professionals working in the field of innovative product design, produces hints for update and renewal of design methodologies for Interaction Design, and the definition of contents that could conveniently introduced in traditional industrial design courses so to support young designers in facing the challenges posed by the technology based evolution of the profession. The paper reports also some results of an education experience held in China, aimed at investigating the suitability of a tool based approach to the design of connected products. The research demonstrates the fertility of an investigation about differences between local culture with respect to design approaches, to the purpose of refining education programs and design methodologies for innovation.