This research investigates the motivations behind micro mechanisms underlying Chinese firms' African countries location choice. The purpose of this study is to draw on extant work on Chinese firms' internationalization theory to propose concepts unique to emerging firms' location choices into developing countries.
Using a qualitative, inductive and deductive case study based approach the study explores motivations of Chinese firms of diverse sizes, ownership and industry location choice in Africa.
We find that Chinese firms investing in Africa do not chart a clear detailed decision making process of their Africa location choice. They however engage in some form of information search either from governments, associations or groupings or acquaintances. The firms' industry determines the country chosen with firms in the same industry mimicking each other and high technology and investment firms preferring strong host government support, access to industry information and large markets. The firm's size measured by the strength of its resources is linked to the government support accorded in their location choice decision making process. Finally Chinese firms being varied in the forms of ownership, industry and size, choose to locate in diverse African countries for varied reasons.