Working Paper
‘Rushing in where Angels Fear to Tread?’

The Early Internationalization of Indigenous Chinese Firms

In this paper I empirically investigate the early international entrepreneurship of indigenous Chinese firms using data on 3,948 firms surveyed by the World Bank in 2002-03. I find important differences in the extent and motivation of early internationalization between indigenous and foreign-invested Chinese firms. Despite having started with internationalization relatively more recently than most foreign-invested firms, and despite having much less least foreign experience (only 1.3 years, on average, versus nine years) than foreign-invested firms, indigenous firms who internationalize early were found to perform better than foreign-invested firms. They may be ‘rushing in’ to international markets, but so far this seems to be paying off quite well.