PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (10): 1535-1544.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2019.10.009

• Special Issue | Empirical Study • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Firm heterogeneity, technological relatedness and location choice of outward foreign direct investment

GAO Boyang1,GUO Lingyu1,HUANG Zhiji2,*(),FENG Rui3   

  1. 1. Department of Urban and Real Estate Management, Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing 100081, China
    2. School of Government, Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing 100081, China
    3. School of Economics and Statistics, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
  • Received:2019-06-06 Revised:2019-09-10 Online:2019-10-28 Published:2019-11-01
  • Contact: HUANG Zhiji
  • Supported by:
    Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences(No. XDA20010102);National Natural Science Foundation of China(No. 41530751);National Natural Science Foundation of China(No. 41871115);Key Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(No. KFZD-SW-321)


Advancement in the implementation of the Belt and Road initiative marks China's gradual transition from "bringing in" to "going out" and participation in a new era of globalization through a more diversified approach. Based on the Oriana Asia-Pacific Enterprise Database and the micro-enterprise data of China's foreign direct investment enterprise directory, this study examined the spatiotemporal characteristics and evolution of Chinese enterprises' foreign investment, and then identified the influencing factors of foreign investment decisions from the perspectives of enterprise heterogeneity and technological correlation effects. The results show that total factor productivity has clear positive effects on enterprises' foreign investment decisions. State-owned enterprises are more inclined to invest abroad than non-state-owned enterprises. Enterprises in eastern China are more inclined to invest abroad than western enterprises. Technological relatedness can significantly increase the level of foreign investment. This study attempted to understand the decision making of corporate foreign investment from a richer and more comprehensive perspective, which may provide some scientific support for guiding enterprises to go out in the context of the Belt and Road initiative.

Key words: outward foreign direct investment (OFDI), heterogeneity, relatedness, China