Is the Strategic Asset Seeking Investment Proclivity of Chinese MNEs Different to that of Developed Market MNEs? A Comparative Analysis of Location Choice and Orientation
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Do emerging market MNEs acquire strategic assets in psychically distant developed markets to augment the firm-specific advantages they lack? This question is central to current conceptual discussion of their FDI strategies. To date, however, empirical testing has focused on emerging market MNE FDI location choices in isolation to indirectly infer facts about strategic asset seeking orientation. There are two weaknesses with this approach. First, comparative analysis with developed market MNEs is limited. Second, the focus on geographical location choices does not account for important direct, firm-level evidence on the strategic assets found in foreign subsidiaries. To address these gaps, we first undertake a comparative location choice study of Chinese MNE and developed market MNE FDI in the US. Second, we test corresponding firm-level US subsidiary data using logit modelling to explore whether there are differences between Chinese and developed market MNEs. Our results indicate similarities, rather than differences, in the strategic asset seeking behavior of Chinese and developed market MNEs. This calls into question whether theoretical extension is necessary to explain the behavior of emerging market MNEs as well as the value of indirect, location choice approaches to the analysis of strategic asset seeking FDI.
KeywordsChina Outward FDI Location choice Emerging market Developed economy Comparative study
This research was made possible thanks to the generous support of the John Deere Foundation.
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