Chinese Transnational Corporations at the World Investment Field

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-9-45-53

M. Luchko (,
Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1/46, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119234, Russian Federation 

Abstract. The author analyses main features of China’s involvement in the world investment activities. On the one hand, China has become one of the world’s key recipients of foreign direct investment (FDI) over the last years. On the other hand, in recent times China managed to strengthen its role as one of the world’s largest origins of FDI together with the United States and Hong Kong (China). The author indicates that the main drivers of this process are the Chinese biggest transnational corporations (TNCs). The amount of them is growing quickly and their positions in the international rankings (UNCTAD, Forbes-2000, Fortune-500) have improved markedly over the past 10 years. According to statistics, there was a six-fold increase in the amount of Chinese TNCs during this period. The leading companies of China include the biggest banks, the oil and gas companies and Internet giants (Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent). Currently, the Chinese government is carrying out a “go out” strategy adopted in the early I century. It is based on the desire to increase exports of goods and services, labor and capital, as well as to encourage further imports of capital, new technologies and natural resources for the national socio-economic development. The Chinese foreign diaspora which exists in 150 countries plays an important role in these processes. In fact, this strategy means further transnationalization of Chinese business. As an example, the author considers international strategies of well-known Chinese companies Huawei and Haier which have already become the global market players. The paper also investigates the factors that are behind the growing FDI activity of the Chinese companies, including the market factors, the factors of production costs, the trade barriers, the conditions of investment climate, etc. A lot of Chinese investment projects are being developed on the territory of the USA. Respectively, the scale and the structure of Chinese companies’ FDI in the USA are analyzed as well. The article also outlines the sectors with the largest share of FDI (energy industry, real estate, IT&T) and specifies the most attractive USA states for Chinese investors (New York and California). Moreover, the author analyzes the ratio between greenfield investment and cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A), where the targets for Chinese investors are the US-based companies. A marked trend of purchasing the high-tech assets by Chinese companies and start-ups in the United States in recent years is stressed. By analyzing statistical data and information obtained from China-related studies the author points to the upcoming economic phenomenon that can be described by the slogan “Chinese go global”.


Keywords: foreign direct investment (FDI), transnational corporations (TNC), China, “go out” strategy, home country, host country, motives of FDI, greenfield investment, cross-border M&A, high-technology assets 


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For citation:
Luchko M. Chinese Transnational Corporations at the World Investment Field. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 9, pp. 45-53.

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