International entrepreneurship in and from China and Asia

Special Track

This special track has been developed by Maria Elo and Yi Wang, SDU, in cooperation with Professor He Shuquan, Shanghai University, and the Belt & Road Institute of International Business.

International entrepreneurship in and from China and Asia

The era of globalization has amplified the processes of internationalization particularly in high growth contexts, such as China and other Asian economies (e.g. Liu & Tian, 2008; Buckley, 2009). The scope and pace of change regarding internationalization of trade, business and entrepreneurship has been overwhelmingly fast (Gill & Kharas, 2007).

Typically, the majority of the research and popular interest has focused on the shifting geopolitical and trade roles, but also on the role of the Chinese state as an increasingly important economic player (Alon et al., 2009). The role of China as a global investor and economic developer has not remained without critical voices, since China outperformed the global export leader Germany and cemented its position in emerging and developing countries (e.g. Gu et al., 2008). On the other hand, the dominantly Western perspective employed in research is also contested (Shen, 2013). 

At the same time, there has been a notable academic attention on the state-owned Chinese firms, their operations and investments (e.g. Ralston et al., 2006). The lures of China and the growth of the region have provided fascinating evidence of entrepreneurial dynamism (e.g. Elo et al., 2019. However, the emerging importance of the Chinese and other Asian people and diasporas, as international entrepreneurs and business investors is yet shadowed by these other actors (Yeung & Olds, 2000; Rauch & Trindade, 2002; Talib et al., 2012; Vissak & Zhang, 2014)
Asian firms have produced numerous emerging market multinationals (e.g. Peng, 2012), but there is a plethora of business actors and combinations of them beyond this category that also act in the global business and entrepreneurial landscape in diverse roles and domains (Zhang, Tasuhaj & McCullough, 2009; Sandberg & Jansson, 2013). Cultural studies, sociology, technology and innovation studies, to mention a few, provide fruitful potential for interdisciplinary approaches in understanding these forms and impacts of international entrepreneurship (Buckley, Clegg & Tan, 2010; Begley & Tan, 2001).

In recent decades, China and other Asian economies have attracted numerous returning, foreign entrepreneurs, and family firms to establish businesses in these host contexts (e.g. Liu et al., 2010). This illustrates how the direction of flows has turned as a result of the a previously closed market re-establishing itself as a new destination market, for products, services, people, firms and investments.

We welcome contributions related to following topics and beyond:
  • Chinese SMEs’ internationalization, strategies and performance
  • Chinese INVs and born globals
  • Chinese mini-multinationals and business groups
  • Internationalisation of Chinese family business and family groups 
  • Transformation of Chinese entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial culture
  • Guanxi networks and overseas Chinese networks
  • Chinese Venture capital and other outward investments
  • Glocalization of Asian business
  • European and other foreign entrepreneurs entering China and Asian markets
  • Transnational diaspora business in Asia
  • Emerging markets INVs and born globals entering China
  • Entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems in China and Asia



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Begley, T. M., & Tan, W. L. (2001). The socio-cultural environment for entrepreneurship: A comparison between East Asian and Anglo-Saxon countries. Journal of international business studies, 32(3), 537-553.
Buckley, P. (2009). Foreign direct investment, China and the world economy. Springer.
Buckley, P. J., Clegg, J., & Tan, H. (2010). Cultural awareness in knowledge transfer to China—The role of guanxi and mianzi. In Foreign direct investment, China and the world economy (pp. 165-191). Palgrave Macmillan, London.
Elo, M., Täube, F., & Volovelsky, E. K. (2019). Migration ‘against the tide’: location and Jewish diaspora entrepreneurs. Regional Studies, 53(1), 95-106.
Gill, I. S., & Kharas, H. (Eds.). (2007). An East Asian renaissance: ideas for economic growth. The World Bank.
Gu, J., Humphrey, J., & Messner, D. (2008). Global governance and developing countries: the implications of the rise of China. World development, 36(2), 274-292.
Liu, L., & Tian, Y. (2008). The internationalisation of Chinese enterprises: the analysis of the UK case. International Journal of Technology and Globalisation, 4(1), 87-102.
Liu, X., Lu, J., Filatotchev, I., Buck, T., & Wright, M. (2010). Returnee entrepreneurs, knowledge spillovers and innovation in high-tech firms in emerging economies. Journal of International Business Studies, 41(7), 1183-1197.
Peng, M. W. (2012). The global strategy of emerging multinationals from China. Global Strategy Journal, 2(2), 97-107.
Ralston, D. A., Terpstra‐Tong, J., Terpstra, R. H., Wang, X., & Egri, C. (2006). Today's state‐owned enterprises of China: are they dying dinosaurs or dynamic dynamos?. Strategic Management Journal, 27(9), 825-843.
Sandberg, S., & Jansson, H. (2013). Collective internationalization–a new take off route for SMEs from China. Journal of Asia Business Studies, 8(1), 29-42.
Shen, X. (2013). Private Chinese investment in Africa: Myths and realities. The World Bank.
Vissak, T., & Zhang, X. (2014). Chinese immigrant entrepreneurs’ involvement in internationalization and innovation: Three Canadian cases. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 12(2), 183-201.
Zhang, M., Tansuhaj, P., & McCullough, J. (2009). International entrepreneurial capability: The measurement and a comparison between born global firms and traditional exporters in China. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 7(4), 292-322.
Rauch, J. E., & Trindade, V. (2002). Ethnic Chinese networks in international trade. Review of Economics and Statistics, 84(1), 116-130.
Yeung, H. W. C., & Olds, K. (2000). Globalizing Chinese business firms: where are they coming from, where are they heading?. In Globalization of Chinese business firms (pp. 1-28). Palgrave Macmillan, London.
Talib, N. A., Sofian, S., Mohamad, N. A., Senin, A. A., Kadir, H. A., Yusof, H. M., & Hassan, I. E. (2012). Leveraging Malaysian diaspora for cluster development initiatives. Business Strategy Series, 13(5), 239-247.