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Bui, Kim (2019) The Role of State-Owned Enterprises in Chinese Cross-Border Mergers & Acquisitions : An Institutional Perspective. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) by Chinese enterprises have played a crucial role in China’s expansion in the global economy. Thanks to the impressive internationalization of Chinese enterprises, China has become a major player in the world’s cross-border M&A market. Although there has been a growing body of research investigating the motivations for Chinese cross-border M&A, most studies have overlooked the China-specific mechanism of cross-border M&As undertaken by its state-owned enterprises (SOEs). This thesis aims to fill this important gap. Building on a political economy analysis, descriptive data exploration, and in-depth elite interviews with an emphasis on the institutional perspective, this thesis contributes to existing research by providing a new framework for conceptualizing the role of the informal and formal institutions in shaping the specific features of Chinese SOEs’ cross-border M&As. This thesis reveals a number of important findings. First, the political economy analysis highlights the concept of national rejuvenation as the key element of China’s informal institution. This informal objective has been formally institutionalized and can be observed through national policies and regulation. Second, the descriptive data analysis shows evidence of the directive from the state on the regional and industrial distribution of cross-border M&As by Chinese SOEs. Third, the in-depth interviews with China M&A experts confirm the top-down command where the objective of national rejuvenation is to be pursued by SOEs and SOE managers through cross-border M&As. The informal objective of national rejuvenation has been institutionalized, and through formal control mechanisms the state ensures that the objective of national rejuvenation is collectively shared among the state, SOEs, and SOE managers. The policy implications derived from this research reveal, the state implemented systems to regulate cross-border M&A activities that SOEs and SOE managers are expected to closely follow can be simplified to increase efficiency. The number of bureaucratic formalities can be reduced, as well as streamlining the M&A process, and delegating greater autonomy to SOEs and SOE managers.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Eunsuk Hong
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2020 14:40

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