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Chinese Outbound Investment in Australia: From State Control to Entrepreneurship

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 October 2019

Wei Li
The University of Sydney Business School.
Hans Hendrischke
The University of Sydney Business School. Email:


This article contributes to our understanding of Chinese corporate expansion into developed economies by using Australia as a case study of how, in the 2010s, Chinese firms began transiting from government-driven resource investment to entrepreneurial expansion in new industries and markets. We contextualize this process by demonstrating how changing market demand and institutional evolutions at home and in the host country created new motivations for Chinese investors. In particular, the decline of active government control in China over the overseas operations of Chinese firms and the more business-oriented regulatory regime in Australia empowered local subsidiaries of Chinese firms to become more entrepreneurial and explorative in their attempts to compensate for their lack of competitiveness and weak organizational capabilities. Consequently, Chinese firms brought their domestic experience and modus operandi to the Australian host market and collectively adapted and deployed dynamic capabilities such as the use of network linkages, experiential learning and corporate reconfiguration. We find that this transfer of capabilities was facilitated by the co-evolution of the Chinese and Australian institutional and market environments and has maintained Australia's position as one of the major recipient countries of Chinese outbound investment, opening the Australian economy to ongoing expansion and disruption.



本文以澳大利亚为案例,研究中国企业在发达经济体的扩张,详细阐述了2010 年以来,中国企业如何从政府驱动的资源投资转向新兴产业和市场的企业扩张。我们通过展示国内和东道国不断变化的市场需求和制度变迁,解释了中国投资者如何在新的环境下找到新的投资动机。特别是,政府对中国企业海外业务的控制力度下降以及澳大利亚更加注重商业的监管制度使中国企业的海外子公司在试图弥补其缺乏竞争力和弱势方面变得更具创业性和探索性。因此,中国公司将其国内经验和运作方式带到澳大利亚,并共同调整和部署动态能力,如使用网络关系,边做边学和企业重组。我们发现,中国和澳大利亚的制度和市场环境的共同演化促进了这种能力的转移,并保持了澳大利亚作为中国对外投资的主要接受国之一的地位,使澳大利亚经济持续扩张和面临新的挑战。

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Copyright © SOAS University of London 2019

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