From foreign investors to strategic insiders: Shifting parameters, prescriptions and paradigms for MNCs in China

Yadong Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Multinational corporations (MNCs) entering and operating in China have been significantly changing their dominant strategies over the past two decades to cope with China's shifting competitive and regulatory environments. The new strategies have resulted in a status shift such that MNCs are no longer merely "foreign investors"; they have become "strategic insiders" who view their large-scale China operations as key to their overall corporate success. To provide an overarching picture of this status shift, this article identifies and discusses shifting competitive parameters facing MNCs (from scant to strong competition, from niche to massive competition, from single- to multi-market competition and from structural similarity to multiplicity), as well as the shifting regulatory parameters they face (from entrance to operational intervention, from separation to convergence with domestic policies and from national control to regional regulation). This article also analyzes the shifting dominant strategies MNCs use to deal with changing environmental landscapes, including shifts from parent to national integration, from production relocation to value chain localization, from competence transfer to competence building, from competition to coopetition, from repetition to adaptive diversification and from alliance building to restructuring. This article concludes by discussing how the above strategic shifts provoke the extension and rethinking of extant MNC theories and what future issues merit particular attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-34
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of World Business
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Finance
  • Marketing


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