Foreign direct investment from China: implications for British business partners

  • Jelena Vukicevic

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

Multinational enterprises from developing economies have been reshaping the global investment landscape since the early 2000s. In particular, companies from China have become increasingly significant outward investors. In fact China is currently the third largest outward investor in the world (UNCTAD 2013). As a relatively new phenomenon the outward investment of Chinese multinationals has not been researched comprehensively. This is especially true of Chinese multinationals undertaking investment activities in advanced economies.

Therefore the aim of this research is to extend our knowledge of the investment behaviour of Chinese multinationals in advanced economies. This is achieved through the examination of their reasons for investment, selected entry modes and effects on British business partners. This research takes a multiple case study approach consisting of nine Chinese multinationals from the automotive, manufacturing, IT, telecommunications and medical device sectors. As a qualitative study it is principally based on interview data but also draws on quantitative evidence where appropriate.

The findings of this research suggest that the examined firms had diverse competitive advantages and investment motives. The effects of their investments were also varied because they were determined by the MNEs’ investment motives and modes of entry. The strategic asset-seeking investors significantly improved the companies they acquired. They also intensified research and development activities in external partner organisations. Meanwhile the asset-exploiting investors improved consumer welfare, intensified competition in their sectors and generated high value-added business opportunities for British partners at home and abroad.

The generally positive effects of Chinese FDI imply that UK policy-makers may wish to step up their efforts to attract further investment from China. The diverse nature of Chinese companies indicates that investment promotion agencies could develop a differentiated strategy to encourage Chinese investors. In addition the benefits derived from collaborating with Chinese multinationals suggest that British firms could be more proactive in forging relationships with them.
Date of Award2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Northampton
SupervisorGrahame Fallon (Supervisor), Peter Lawrence (Supervisor) & Shaowei He (Supervisor)

Cite this

Foreign direct investment from China: implications for British business partners
Vukicevic, J. (Author). 2014

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis