Internationalization of Chinese firms: growth, motivations, strategies

Working paper in french.

Like other emerging economies of the BRIC countries, China witnesses now an increasing outflow of foreign direct investment (OFDI) while maintaining a high attractiveness for inward foreign direct investment (IFDI). The recent rapid development of China in part is based on the presence of IFDI that facilitated technological upgrading and allowed many firms to match the standards of Western companies in a variety of industries, including medium and advanced technologies. For specialists and Chinese political and business leaders, the results are mixed; Western firms located in China restrict the transfer of technology to maintain their competitive advantage. Chinese OFDI have experienced very strong growth during the last decade thanks in part to financial resources accumulated, in part by the willingness to seek supplies of raw materials to maintain the high growth rate of GDP. But they also develop in manufacturing, services, and financial sectors. The paper points out the various factors that lead Chinese firms to internationalize: access to markets, to resources, to technology. Beyond government subsidies, what specific factors allow Chinese firms to compete successfully? Facing competition from large Western multinationals, Chinese firms are able to develop specific strategies to facilitate their learning, their relations with large firms, their growth. The success of these companies should be confirmed in the medium and long term. For many observers, most companies at the moment are not yet truly internationalized. They often seek to acquire resources and to repatriate it in China.


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