An Exploration of Chinese Foreign Direct Investment in Africa from Ethical and Cultural Perspectives

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Abstract—This study explores the perceptions and conducts of
Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa from ethical and
cultural perspectives. It offers a better understanding of how ethical
and cultural factors affect Chinese investment in Africa and how the
investment projects performed in Africa from both Chinese investors
and African stakeholders’ perceptions. It adopted a grounded theory
approach and conducted 30 in-depth interviews with corporate
managers. Grounded theory models are developed to link the ethical
and cultural factors, actions, and consequences. Results reveal that
some ethical concepts like the unity of humans and nature,
benevolence, virtue and responsibility, and cultural traits including
propriety, righteousness, sincerity, equilibrium, long-term orientation,
and principles affect Chinese investors when making investments in
Africa. Most Chinese investors harmonize with local managers,
cooperate with each other, and are gentle and courteous to partners.
They take stable and steady actions and invest in infrastructure and
agriculture projects and adopt a virtue governance system in the
organization. This study finds that consequently, Chinese investors and
local partners take complementary advantages, make achievements
sequentially, and therefore both sides can win. They recognize great
potentials and make sustainable development in Africa to achieve the
Great Together in the future. This study proposes a Chinese ethics and
governance system including economic, social, and political
perspectives and compares it with alternative systems. It makes
implications to the world island theory and propose suggestions to
solve the Clash of Civilizations problem.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-61
JournalInternational Journal of Economics and Management Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2024


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