Journal für Betriebswirtschaft

, Volume 62, Issue 3–4, pp 169–224 | Cite as

Chinese outward foreign direct investment—a challenge for traditional internationalization theories?



In this paper we explore the current state of research on outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) of Chinese firms. A literature review identifies 62 articles in 15 peer-reviewed academic journals that were published between 1986 and 2012. We examine the underlying theories, research methods, motives, determinants, host countries, industries, periods of observation, nationality of authors and performance of Chinese OFDI, as well as the degree of consensus with traditional internationalization theories. We find that the majority of studies find these theories not applicable to explain Chinese OFDI. We discuss possible extensions and modifications and derive implications for future research.


Chinese outward FDI Internationalization theories Chinese MNEs Emerging market firms 

JEL Classification

F23 M16 


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Copyright information

© Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Austria 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International ManagementUniversity of Erlangen-NürnbergNürnbergGermany

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