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Working papers
ISSN: 2281-5023

Who damages whom?

Chinese firms’ outward investment and the international reputation of China’s economic system.
Marisa Siddivò

“A group of "princelings", children of China's political elite, has quietly urged the Communist Party leadership to release jailed Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo on parole to improve the country's international image”1 .

The news revealed by the Reuters press agency, if confirmed, adds a key element to the inside élite's debate on the country's reputation and its link with the high failure rate of overseas direct investments (ODI). Starting from December 2012, the Chinese perspective on its own outward investment experience has indeed undergone a change. Two elements, in particular, have prompted this change: a preliminary estimate of the “failure rate” of Chinese multinational investment and the gradual but relentless erosion of the country’s firm belief that developing countries would have extended a warm welcome to Chinese investments. The origin of the troubles faced by ODI has indeed become a top issue for State party officials, enterprise CEOs and economists as well. The emergence of divergent perspectives suggests that the block of interests that has often been identified behind Chinese investment is less homogeneous than it appears.

Keywords: China; ODI; failure rate

Marisa Siddivò

Department of Asian Studies

Università degli studi di Napoli l’Orientale msiddivo@unior.it

c.MET Working paper 06/2015

June 2015

© 2015 by Marisa Siddivò. All rights reserved. Short sections of text, not to exceed two paragraphs, may be quoted without explicit permission provided that full credit, including © notice, is given to the source.

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