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Chinese firms have a poor history of questionable practices that have caused various public relations crises in domestic and international markets. This chapter examines the development of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Chinese firms, including their drivers and their current state. To prevent Chinese firms from having profit maximisation as their sole objective, the Chinese government positioned CSR as an area central to the country’s stability and future growth. It has also developed guidelines for firms in line with the United Nations Global Compact and encouraged firms to adopt them in their corporate policies and activities. The chapter ends by examining the CSR practices adopted by Huawei, a major Chinese firm, in its overseas operations, including those in Africa.
The path for Chinese firms to go global has not been easy. There have been mistakes and failures. While the global community generally accepts the trend of Chinese firms going out, the pace and extent at which Chinese firms globalise nevertheless cause concerns in some host countries. This chapter examines the major types of challenges faced by Chinese firms. They include concerns in product safety (export-related), failures in managing workforce (raw material mining-related), inexperience in making deals (mining-related), failures in obtaining/honouring contracts (infrastructure-related), gaining local support (infrastructure-related), and failures in relieving host-country security concerns (merger and acquisition-related). While some of these concerns are based on host-country perceptions and may not be ‘real’, perceptions matter and carry serious consequences for Chinese firms’ going out efforts.
Achieving acceptance of Chinese-made products by developed markets is a major challenge faced by Chinese firms. This chapter examines the perception of China and Chinese-made products in overseas markets and its psychological resistance, paying special attention to the unfavourable made-in-China image. In addition to recognizing the evidence-based negative perceptions, the psycho-social motivations that may give rise to a biased perception against made-in-China are also examined. The chapter then discusses emerging studies that uncover that culturally open and world-minded consumers are less susceptible to these attitudes, pointing to ways that the bias against Chinese brands and products can be revised. Finally, the chapter discusses the success of some Chinese firms (e.g., Alibaba) and their favourable spillovers on perceptions of Chinese firms and their products.
This chapter begins with a summative view of China’s economic conditions before 1979 and elements of the economic reform that allowed the country to turn around and embark on decades of robust economic growth. The internal (firm-level) and institutional drivers underlying this economic miracle are delineated. In particular, it highlights two key concepts; namely, government managed growth and the institutional supremacy of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). How the SOEs in China rose from their extremely inefficient past to become global economic powers is one of the most attended phenomena in modern global economy. Their role as a key driver of economic growth is discussed along with the complementary role of China’s privately owned firms. The chapter then discusses the firms’ footprints in both developing and developed economies. It ends by examining the myths and challenges of Chinese firms going global.
This chapter assesses the future of Chinese firms in our globalising and technologically leapfrogging economy, a topic that has been met with increasing attention. The first part focuses on the technological domain (STEM), including technological talents in China and its national strategic development plan, China 2025. The second part looks at China’s trade relations with other nations. The third part looks at China’s economic co-operation with other nations, with special attention on China’s Belt-and-Road Initiative. While these domains do not exhaustively include all factors affecting Chinese firms, they highlight the boundaries within which Chinese firms operate and prosper in the global economy.
Dunning’s Globalisation (OLI) Model is the best known model of firm globalisation. It extends the cost-advantage perspective to include ownership, locational, and internationalisation advantages as determinants of a multinational corporations’ operation and growth. Using Haier as an exemplary firm, the chapter traces its revival from a non-performing SOE from China to becoming the top brand in home appliances as well as the OLI advantages it can leverage in the unique China context. The chapter also examines the National Development Globalisation Model, a model arising from China’s strong needs for energy and metals to fuel the country’s development and consumption, to address the globalisation of non-manufacturing firms. Using Chalco as an example, the chapter notes that, in spite of the firm’s lack of advantages, its ability to attract unwavering support from the government and its strong leadership to operate in the volatile global environment allow the firm to become the leading aluminium producer.
This chapter discusses several emerging globalisation models: the Springboard Model; its variant, the Leapfrog Model; the Mixed Model, a hybrid globalisation approach that leverages the combined benefits of administrative and market systems; and the Effectual Model, an appropriate for entrepreneurial firms. The discussion delineates the advantages and challenges of each model as well as the motivations for firms to adopt these models. Similar to , this chapter also traces the development of various exemplary firms (and their respective industries) that have successfully adopted these models. They include: China Merchants Bank (Springboard Model), Huawei (Leapfrog Model), CRRC (high-speed rail) (Mixed Model), and Techno (Effectual Model).
This chapter provides an overview of the contents and organisation of the book. It begins by tracing China’s economic reform that took place forty years ago as well as its ensuing economic growth and success that gave rise to modern Chinese firms. As firms such as Lenovo, Alibaba, Citic, and Tencent prosper in this socio-economic environment and gain prominence in the corporate world, researchers are beginning to recognise the contributions of emerging market multinational corporations. The chapter then discusses exemplary Chinese firms as game changers in international business. The chapter ends by outlining the organisation of the book, including the details on the four sections, and its targeted audience.
Twenty-five years after Chinese firms began their globalisation process, some of them have become global game changers and represented in the Fortune Global 500. This chapter begins by discussing the nature, types, and extent of changes these firms have brought about. Then, the chapter points out the growing challenges, including the challenges posed by Chinese firms’ overseas operations and merger and acquisition activities that would affect the perceptions of these firms in the international market. The third part of the chapter takes a futuristic lens and proposes how ‘Chinese firms going global’ will evolve, including a discussion on the extent the world accepts globalising Chinese firms and the impact world acceptance may pose on these firms’ future and growth.
As an economic power, China has become increasingly preoccupied with its image around the world. According to BBC-GlobeScan, China enjoys a neutral to positive national image over the past 12 years, driven by the generally positive perception of the country’s economy. Interestingly, there is a strong divide between perception by developed and developing nations, with the former giving China a much lower rating than the latter. The USA in particular gives a consistently low rating, while sub-Saharan African countries give a consistently high rating. The chapter then reports two ad campaigns carried out by the Chinese government to promote the national image, especially in the USA. Results of public surveys show that, while there is some positive outcome, the public do not like the hard-sell approach. It is suggested that, in the future, national image campaigns should take a softer approach and be carried out by non-governmental organisations or private firms to reduce governmental involvement.
How have Chinese multinationals benefited from China's economic boom to enable their international expansion? This book is based on many years of original research tracing the emergence, growth and future of Chinese firms in the world economy. The authors seek to provide new perspectives and insights for business executives and graduate students through a comprehensive study of how China's firms globalize and operate, and the implications of this for economic success. Based on detailed case studies and summative examples of successful Chinese firms, Tse and Hung point out their strengths (e.g. making innovations affordable to many developing nations), their weaknesses (products made in China are not highly regarded) and their mistakes (being insensitive to host economy needs and at times corruptive acts). They argue that the world economy would benefit from engaging with Chinese and other emerging economy firms to learn from the strategies they employ to achieve their global reach.
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