The determinants of Chinese outward foreign direct investment

Peter J. Buckley, L. Jeremy Clegg, Adam R. Cross*, Xin Liu, Hinrich Voss, Ping Zheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1750 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the determinants of Chinese outward direct investment (ODI) and the extent to which three special explanations (capital market imperfections, special ownership advantages and institutional factors) need to be nested within the general theory of the multinational firm. We test our hypotheses using official Chinese ODI data collected between 1984 and 2001. We find Chinese ODI to be associated with high levels of political risk in, and cultural proximity to, host countries throughout, and with host market size and geographic proximity (1984-1991) and host natural resources endowments (1992-2001). We find strong support for the argument that aspects of the special theory help to explain the behaviour of Chinese multinational enterprises.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-518
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Chinese multinational firms
  • Outward FDI
  • Theory of the multinational enterprise


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