China’s global outward foreign direct investment (FDI) has increased substantially over the last decade, with Europe as a key destination. The upsurge in Chinese outward FDI indicates a rebalancing of global political-economic relations, with China and its companies acquiring new roles and gaining economic power. Bringing together research on the rise of Chinese multinational companies and their activities in Europe, this book focuses on the business strategies of Chinese investors and on employment relations in Chinese-owned companies in Europe.

It addresses the topic on three levels: it analyses the emergence of major ‘challenger multinationals’ that have risen from a peripheral position to become global market leaders, maps the patterns of Chinese investment in Europe, and includes case studies that show the diversity of these investments. The book aims to provide a holistic overview of Chinese activities in Europe, with individual chapters focusing on key sectors and covering the different types of investment across the continent.

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Table of contents

Full text

Introduction - Jan Drahokoupil


Chapter 1 - Peter Pawlicki - Challenger multinationals in telecommunications: Huawei and ZTE

Chapter 2 - Peter Pawlicki and Siqi Luo - China’s cars and parts: development of an industry and strategic focus on Europe

Chapter 3 - Giovanni Balcet, Hua Wang and Xavier Richet - Catching up strategies and multinational growth: the case of Geely Volvo

Chapter 4 -Tina Miedtank - International human resource management and employment relations of Chinese MNCs

Chapter 5 - Vito Amendolagine and Roberta Rabellotti - Chinese foreign direct investments in the European Union

Chapter 6 - Agnieszka McCaleb and Ágnes Szunomár - Chinese foreign direct investment in central and eastern Europe: an institutional perspective

Chapter 7 - Jan Drahokoupil, Vassil Kirov, Aurelian Muntean and Elena Radu - Chinese investment in Romania and Bulgaria

Chapter 8 - Shuwen Bian and Oliver Emons - Chinese investments in Germany: increasing in line with Chinese industrial policy

Chapter 9 - Xiling Zhu - Experience with acquisitions of German Mittelstand companies – a case study

Chapter 10 - Shaowei He and Zaheer Khan - Boarding the high-speed train of China: the upgrade journey of a British engineering firm after acquisition by a Chinese train company

Chapter 11 - Jan Drahokoupil, Agnieszka McCaleb, Peter Pawlicki and Ágnes Szunomár - Huawei in Europe: strategic integration of local capabilities in a global production network

Chapter 12 - Yu Zheng and Chris Smith - New voyages in search of treasure: China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) in Europe

List of contributors

Annex - Wolfgang Müller - Chinese investors: what do works councils and trade unions need to be aware of ?