Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2017, Vol. 72 ›› Issue (8): 1373-1391.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201708004

• Industrial Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

China's OFDI in America: Basic features and determinants

Maojun WANG(), Yongping XU   

  1. College of Resource Environment and Tourism, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
  • Received:2016-08-30 Revised:2017-03-15 Online:2017-08-20 Published:2017-08-20
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41571154]


Based on the OFDI data of 4616 Chinese companies in America during the period of 2004-2014, the paper analyzed the characteristics of industrial structures and geographical distributions, as well as their changing trends. Then it built an OFDI location decision model combined with the attributive characters of host country and relationship characters of host country-home country. Finally it quantitatively recognized the country determinant and the discrepancy among different industries. The research found the following conclusions. Firstly, the geographic distribution of China's OFDI in America was highly concentrated, with service industry as the main industry. State-owned enterprises were the main investors of OFDI and private companies were not so active in terms of investment. As time went on, the OFDI distribution in different countries tended to be discrete, with an uptrend of manufacture industry and a downtrend of service industry. Besides, the proportion of private companies involved was increasing. Secondly, the main body of China's OFDI in America was domestic manufacturers, and their investment was highly concentrated on the industries of wholesale & retail, commercial service, import & export trading, etc. The above facts indicated their participation in building international value-added chain and globalization, and verified their gradual and continuous course of international expansion. Unlike the extension of manufacturers to service industry, import & export trading companies and commercial service companies mainly focused on further development of their original main business advantage. Thirdly, the introduction of relational variables effectively promoted the depth of the explanation on OFDI country difference. Export had prominently promoted OFDI, which accorded with the performance of complementary model, and showed that China's OFDI in America was still in the initial stage of understanding overseas markets. At the initial stage, good and close political and social relationships could effectively promote OFDI, and private companies were playing a less important role than state-owned companies. Fourthly, the market seeking motivation was the most obvious motivation for China's OFDI in America, while energy access motivation, technology acquisition motivation and production cost reducing motivation were not fully confirmed by the model. Fifthly, unlike wholesale and retail industries, commercial service industry and manufacturing industry which commonly pursued market scale, the industry of geological exploration and development industries, focused more on resources searching, which determined good political relationships and the special importances of state-owned enterprises.

Key words: OFDI, geographical distribution, industry structures, determinants, America, China