Frontiers of Economics in China, 8 (3), 903-936

The article is co-authored with Alessia Amighini and Marco Sanfilippo.

We empirically analyse the host country determinants of Chinese outward foreign direct investments (FDI) for the years 2003 to 2011, using disaggregated data by country and industry. Our results suggest that the host-country determinants of Chinese FDI differ between high- and low-income countries. While all Chinese FDI are invariably market seeking, other motivations stand out for different groups of sectors in specific country groups. The resource seeking motivation is relevant for manufacturing FDI to high-income countries with relatively high fuel abundance, and to low-income countries with primary resource abundance (other than fuels). Differently, the strategic-asset seeking motivation, measured by the level of R&D spending on GDP, positively and significantly only affects Chinese manufacturing and services FDI to OECD countries, while higher education levels are attraction factor for all investing firms. Natural resources are an important attraction factor for Chinese FDI, not only in resource-related sectors, but also in manufacturing and services sectors. Finally, Chinese FDIs tend to follow exports (rather than fostering them), especially in services sectors.