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Title: The motives and location choice of OFDI : the case of China
Author: Li, HouChao (Leo)
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2010
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This research investigates the location choice of Chinese companies' outward foreign direct investment (OFDI). It addresses the question of why companies with similar motivations will invest in different types of locations. In more details, how a company's motivation affects their location for OFDI, and what it is about some Chinese companies that allows them to invest in certain countries. It also seeks to examine the extent to which classical theories can explain the OFDI from emerging markets in the case of China. Chinese official data has certain flaws, such as low quality at firm level and the omission of some important investments due to the data collection methods. Thus this research uses data collected from a private survey. Logistic regression analysis was applied to a sample of 129 companies, and the following conclusions made: Firstly, a company's investment motivation is the determining factor for their investment. Chinese MNEs motivated to acquire created assets, such as brand name, technology and managerial expertise are more likely to invest in developed countries rather than less developed countries. There is no clear evidence of efficiency seeking as a motivation for Chinese companies, but natural resource seeking FDIs are considerable from China. Meanwhile, this research finds evidence of capital seeking FDI. As a result of the Chinese government's capital control policy, some Chinese companies invest overseas to access the host countries' stock market. This kind of investment is generally performed using some unconventional method, such as 'reverse takeover' or 'round-tripping'. Secondly, the Chinese Government plays an important role in Chinese OFDI. The Government's foreign policy may influence a company's investment decision making. E.g. companies with a stronger relationship with the Government are more likely to invest in developed countries rather than Hong Kong. This research also finds evidence that a closer government relationship enhances companies' competitive advantages when performing the investment. This research suggests that a strong connection with the Government acts as an ownership advantage in the case of Chinese firms. Thirdly, Internalisation of Internationalisation (i2) is suggested and developed in this research. This term encapsulates the systematic knowledge transfer that is hypothesised as occurring during the operation of a joint venture or other form of alliance with foreign investors in China. It is proposed that this knowledge transfer from foreign firms to the domestic company enables Chinese companies to acquire knowledge of international operation even before engaging with the overseas market. This research finds that companies with exposure to i2 are better prepared and therefore more likely to undertake OFDI. The thesis concludes that previous participation in international business collaboration increases the probability of OFDI by these Chinese firms. This research finds that classical OFDI theories are still reliable in explaining the emerging market OFDI in the case of China. However, IB theories should also draw more attention to the fact that asset augmenting can play a major role in this investment environment. Moreover, some new concepts such as capital seeking and i2 should be added into the theoretical framework.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available