Reviewing the research on the internationalization of Chinese firms

Timon Immanuel Haasis (Department of Economic Geography, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Giessen, Germany)
Ingo Liefner (Department of Economic Geography, Leibniz University Hannover, Hannover, Germany)

International Journal of Emerging Markets

ISSN: 1746-8809

Publication date: 21 January 2019



Supplementing a previous review article on the internationalization of Chinese firms (ICF) by Deng (2012) that covers the period 1991–2010, the purpose of this paper is to examine how research on this subject has thematically expanded in recent years, systematically investigating the literature concerning the ICF between 2011 and June 2017 and highlighting the research advancements. Furthermore, it provides impulses for future research and outlines potential avenues for the overall future development of the entire ICF field.


Based on a systematic literature review, this paper categorizes the surveys reviewed according to the organizational framework of the research on the ICF provided by Deng (2012).


The results indicate that the research on the ICF has become more widespread and mature during the time period investigated. First, there are more articles examining functional management processes of Chinese firms. Consequently, new knowledge exists regarding the role, control and organization of foreign subsidiaries of Chinese enterprises and their host country institutional integration. Second, the state of knowledge regarding the implications of the ICF has increased. It is argued that the future convergence or divergence of the Chinese economic system determines the overall future development of research on the ICF.


This is the first review paper in the emerging ICF field that consciously continues the work of a previous review article, enabling the tracing of the thematic expansion of research on the ICF.



Haasis, T. and Liefner, I. (2019), "Reviewing the research on the internationalization of Chinese firms", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 24-50.

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