Purpose– This paper aims to analyse the characteristics of Chinese multinational corporations in other emerging economies using evidence from Latin America (LA) vis-à-vis the features found in previous studies of Chinese companies operating in developed countries.
Design– It does this by studying the fit of theoretical frameworks recently developed for Chinese firms, the support from the government and the strength of their capabilities in relation to those of local competitors. The analysis is based on case studies with data collected from a theoretical sample of Chinese companies operating in LA.
Findings– The results show that these companies seem to be following a pattern similar to that described by Mathews’s (2006) Linkage–Leverage–Learning, that the support from the government does not seem to play an important role in their internationalisation process, that they appear to have developed a set of capabilities strong enough to compete in the host market (in particular how to combine their strengths with those of local partners) and that they are engaged in a positive cycle of development that helps them to overcome some of the challenges and barriers of operating in Latin American emerging markets by complementing/leveraging their strengths with those of local firms.
Originality/value– The findings indicate that Chinese companies are following patterns in their internationalisation to Latin American emerging markets that seems to be a combination of conventional theories (including previous studies on emerging markets-based firms) with idiosyncratic elements.
- Emerging markets
- Latin America