Publications of Wong MNC Center Staff, Advisory Board Members, and Research Fellows

Pondering Anew RCEP’s Political Ramifications

Jean-Marc F. Blanchard and Wei Liang

This Op-Ed appeared in The Diplomat in January 2022. It constitutes the third in a four-part series contemplating the consequences of RCEP. It focuses on the political implications of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which many assume will be an incontrovertible success for China in terms of its regional and global political standing, rule setting authority, and soft power. In line with earlier pieces in the series, this piece challenges conventional wisdom about RCEP’s effects.

China and the Impact of Economic Globalization: A Complex Tale of Gains and Losses Viewed Through the Lenses of FDI

Jean-Marc F. Blanchard

From the time it began to reengage with global economic flows in the late 1970s, and especially after joining the WTO in 2001, China has steadily enmeshed itself in economic globalization (EG). It has become the world’s largest trading nation, one of the largest recipients of foreign direct investment (FDI), and a major player in the international currency regime. At first glance, it is hard to dispute that China has been anything but a beneficiary of EG given the growth, foreign exchange, jobs, technology, and tax revenues it has derived from it. Yet the reality is far more complex.

One Country, Many Industries: Heterogeneity of Chinese OFDI motivations at Meso Level

This article criticizes the literature on the drivers of China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) for ignoring the meso (industry) level. The authors rectify this lacuna by proposing an “industry-based view” of FDI, which takes into account cross-industry heterogeneity and FDI motivations.

Regional Social Context and FDI. An Empirical Investigation on Chinese Acquisitions in Europe

Lauretta Rubini, Chiara Pollio, Francesca Spigarelli, and Ping Lv

This article ponders the varying economic, technical, and social conditions that might illuminate the different strengths of European regions in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). It tries to identify whether the presence of regional differences affects the location of multinational enterprises. The authors develop an empirical model using data on Chinese brownfield investments in European regions.

Connecting into the Social Sustainability Effects of Infrastructure through China’s Digital Silk Road: Issues, Indices, and Indications

Jean-Marc F. Blanchard and Bas Hooijmaaijers

There is a heated debate about the social-sustainability implications of infrastructure. We engage this debate by delving into China’s Digital Silk Road (DSR), an important component of China’s infrastructure-centric Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Optimists and pessimists have offered strong views about the DSR’s social-sustainability implications. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of analytical tools and in-depth studies which can be used to judge their competing arguments.

The Smart Business Guide to China E-Commerce

Frank Lavin

The Smart Business Guide to China E-Commerce provides a how-to approach to the China e-commerce ecosystem, a powerful channel for brands to reach consumers.

Revisiting RCEP’s Trade Implications

Jean-Marc F. Blanchard and Wei Liang

This Op-Ed, published in The Diplomat, represents the second in a four-part series contemplating the consequences of RCEP. It specifically reevaluates the trade implications of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which most forecast will have transformative effects on trade within and without the RCEP zone.

Behind the Screen: Understanding National Support for a Foreign Investment Screening Mechanism in the European Union,

Zenobia T. Chan and Sophie Meunier

This article explores variations in European Union (EU) member state preferences for the creation of a pan-European screening framework for foreign direct investment (FDI). The article shows that countries with higher levels of technology are more supportive of an investment screening mechanism (ISM). It also notes that country-level support for FDI screening is sector dependent.

Overcoming the Liability of Foreignness – A New Perspective on Chinese MNCs

Mingchun Cao and Ilan Alon

Studies about the so-called “liability of foreignness” for multinational corporations (MNCs) have given inadequate attention to the impact of “the importance of the firm’s dependence on their parents, subsidiaries, and local resources.” Drawing upon 43 semi-structured interviews with expatriate and local managers of Chinese high-tech MNCs this article identifies six dimensions that influence the liability of foreignness: resource commitment, information flow, resource control, resource integration, local responsiveness, and flexibility of control.

Enhancing SME Participation in Global Value Chains: Determinants, Challenges, and Policy Recommendations

Shujiro Urata

This report studies the involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in international trade, particularly global value chains (GVCs). It analyzes 10 Asian countries in order to determine SMEs’ participation in GVCs and identifies relevant obstacles. It further supplies advice to SMEs and governments for facilitating GVC participation. Report recommendations for SMEs include increasing technological capability and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).