Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2019, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (8): 1396-1410.doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1666-2

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Location choices of Chinese enterprises in Southeast Asia: The role of overseas Chinese networks

LIANG Yutian1,2, ZHOU Zhengke1, LIU Yi3,*()   

  1. 1. Center of Integrated Geographic Information Analysis, School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    2. Guangdong Key Laboratory for Urbanization and Geo-simulation, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    3. School of Tourism Management, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2018-08-09 Accepted:2018-10-10 Online:2019-08-25 Published:2019-12-13
  • Contact: LIU Yi
  • About author:Liang Yutian (1982-), PhD and Associate Professor, specialized in economic geography and regional studies. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.41871114);National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.41401119)


With the implementation of the “Going out” strategy and the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s investments have become increasingly influential in the global market. The contemporary literature has revealed how overseas Chinese networks and communities have actively promoted foreign investments into China over the past four decades. Whether this factor can help Chinese capital flow out once again is still ambiguous. This study examines this question by investigating Chinese corporate investments in Southeast Asia from 2001 to 2016. Through the discrete-selection logistic regression model, the study analyzes the correlation between overseas Chinese social networks and the location choices of Chinese corporate investments. The results show the following: (1) overall, there is a significant positive correlation between the population of overseas Chinese in Southeast Asian countries and the location choices of Chinese corporate investments; (2) in terms of the time sequence, the significance of the correlation is increasing, which implies that overseas Chinese have positive impacts on promoting the location choice of Chinese enterprises and that the impact is potentially increasing; and (3) in terms of the industrial structure and corporate functions, the impacts vary and are only significant in some industries and corporate segments.

Key words: outward foreign direct investment, social network, overseas Chinese, location choice, Southeast Asia