China’s investments in Southeast Asia: The Role of Overseas Chinese Networks

Authors: Yutian Liang*, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhengke Zhou, Sun Yat-sen University, Yi Liu, Sun Yat-sen University
Topics: Economic Geography
Keywords: Outward Foreign Direct Investment; Social Network; Overseas Chinese; Southeast Asia
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: 8228, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


With the implementation of the “Going out” strategy and the “Belt and Road Initiative”, China is no longer a pure destination for foreign investments in the contemporary global economy. Its overseas investments have become increasingly influential in the global market. The contemporary literature has revealed how overseas Chinese networks and communities have actively promoted foreign investments into China over the past four decades. Whether this factor can help Chinese capital flow out once again is still ambiguous. This study examines this question by investigating Chinese corporate investments in Southeast Asia from 2001 to 2016. Data are collected from the official information of Chinese corporations listed with the Ministry of Commerce of China. Research areas cover 10 countries located in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos. Through the discrete-selection logistic regression model, the study analyzes the correlation between overseas Chinese social networks and the locational choices of Chinese corporate investments. The results show the following: (1) overall, there is a significant positive correlation between the population of overseas Chinese in Southeast Asian countries and the locational choices of Chinese corporate investments; (2) in terms of the time sequence, the significance of the correlation is increasing, which implies that overseas Chinese have positive impacts on promoting the locational choice of Chinese enterprises and that the impact is potentially increasing; and (3) in terms of the industrial structure and corporate functions, the impacts vary and are only significant in some industries and corporate segments.

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