“Rushing in where angels fear to tread”?

Wim Naudé (World Institute for Development Economics Research, United Nations University, Helsinki, Finland)

Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies

ISSN: 1754-4408

Publication date: 2 October 2009



The purpose of this paper is to determine whether there are empirical differences in the extent and motivation of early internationalisation between indigenous and foreign‐invested Chinese firms.


Data on 3,948 firms surveyed by the World Bank in 2002 and 2003 in China are used and four hypotheses are tested using regression analysis.


Despite having started with internationalisation relatively more recently than most foreign‐invested firms, and having less foreign experience, indigenous firms which internationalise early perform better than foreign‐invested firms.

Research limitations/implications

The data were not gathered with international entrepreneurship in mind, may not include all relevant control variables, and lack a panel.


China is a country noted for its success in internationalisation. However, this has been due, in the most part, to foreign‐invested firms, with indigenous firms seemingly being less successful. This makes knowledge of the differences in early internationalisation behaviour of indigenous versus foreign‐invested firms potentially interesting.



Naudé, W. (2009), "“Rushing in where angels fear to tread”?", Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 163-177. https://doi.org/10.1108/17544400910994742

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