Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (8): 1449-1461.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201808005

• Urban and Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Relationship between the location choices of Chinese outbound enterprises and overseas Chinese networks: The case study of Southeast Asia

LIANG Yutian1,2(),ZHOU Zhengke1,2,LIU Yi3()   

  1. 1. Center of Integrated Geographic Information Analysis, School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    2. Guangdong Key Laboratory for Urbanization and Geo-simulation, Guangzhou 510275, China
    3. School of Tourism Management, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2017-08-14 Online:2018-08-15 Published:2018-07-31
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41301112, No.41401119


With the implementation of the strategy of "Going Global" and the Belt and Road Initiative, China is playing a critical role in the global economy. Along with the increasing globalization of Chinese enterprises, China has gradually become an influential force in the global market. The contemporary literature has revealed how overseas Chinese networks and communities promoted foreign investments into China in the past four decades. Whether these networks and communities can drive Chinese capital to expand overseas once again is ambiguous. Employing the classical location theory, this study examines Chinese corporate investments in Southeast Asia from 2001 to 2016. Data were collected from official information of Chinese corporations released by the Ministry of Commerce of China. This research covers 10 countries located in Southeast Asia including Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos. Utilizing the discrete-selection logit regression model, the study analyzed the correlation between overseas Chinese social networks and the site selection of Chinese outbound investment. The results show that: (1) overall, the positive correlation between the number of overseas Chinese in Southeast Asian countries and the location choice of Chinese outbound investment is apparently significant; (2) in terms of time sequence, the significance of the correlation is soaring up, indicating that overseas Chinese have potentials in imposing positive impact on the promotion of locational choice of Chinese enterprises while the impact is potentially on the rise; (3) as for industrial structure and corporate functions, the impact is various and significant only in some industries and corporate segments. These findings affirm the positive value of overseas Chinese social networks on the globalization of Chinese corporations. Considering the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, this paper suggests that Chinese government should pay more attention to the improvement of the interactions between Chinese enterprises and overseas Chinese networks.

Key words: OFDI, social network, overseas Chinese, location choice, Southeast Asia