IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Media Inclination and Outward Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from Chinese Firms


  • Beibei Hu
  • Qiao Luan
  • Xue Meng
  • Kai Wang


Media inclinations, whether favorable or biased, play a pivotal role in shaping public opinion. Sometimes, media coverage may unintentionally foster skepticism towards foreign firms, which could create challenges for those companies when they enter new markets. Based on a panel dataset from 2005 to 2020, this is one of the first studies to investigate empirically the impact of media opinion on outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) behaviors at the firm level. The media inclination index was constructed according to the varying inclinations of media from different countries in their reporting on each event. We examined the impact of media inclination on the investment value, frequency, and number of industries. This study has revealed the following insights: (i) Positive media coverage can stimulate the investment behavior of Chinese firms. (ii) The heterogeneity analysis indicates that the promotional effect of media reporting inclination on OFDI is more significant for state‐owned firms from the investor's perspective and especially pronounced for firms in developing countries from the investee's perspective. (iii) Diplomatic visits and scientific research cooperation can amplify the positive impact of media opinions on the OFDI behaviors of Chinese firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Beibei Hu & Qiao Luan & Xue Meng & Kai Wang, 2023. "Media Inclination and Outward Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from Chinese Firms," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 31(6), pages 134-155, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:chinae:v:31:y:2023:i:6:p:134-155
    DOI: 10.1111/cwe.12511

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrew K. Rose, 2016. "Like Me, Buy Me: The Effect of Soft Power on Exports," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 216-232, July.
    2. Laura Bottazzi & Marco Da Rin & Thomas Hellmann, 2016. "Editor's Choice The Importance of Trust for Investment: Evidence from Venture Capital," The Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 29(9), pages 2283-2318.
    3. Stone, Randall W. & Wang, Yu & Yu, Shu, 2022. "Chinese Power and the State-Owned Enterprise," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 229-250, January.
    4. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
    5. L. Bottazzi & M. Da Rin & T. Hellmann, 2007. "The Importance of Trust for Investment: Evidence from Venture Capital," Working Papers 612, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    6. Busse, Matthias & Hefeker, Carsten, 2007. "Political risk, institutions and foreign direct investment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 397-415, June.
    7. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
    8. Bhattacharya, Sourav & Chakraborty, Pavel & Chatterjee, Chirantan, 2022. "Intellectual property regimes and wage inequality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 154(C).
    9. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2009. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 124(3), pages 1095-1131.
    10. Killian J. McCarthy & Wilfred Dolfsma, 2014. "Neutral Media? Evidence of Media Bias and its Economic Impact," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 72(1), pages 42-54, March.
    11. Shujie Yao & Fan Zhang & Pan Wang & Dan Luo, 2017. "Location Determinants of China's Outward Foreign Direct Investment," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 25(6), pages 1-27, November.
    12. Ren, Xiaoyan & Yang, Shuili, 2020. "Empirical study on location choice of Chinese OFDI," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    13. Jing Li & Klaus E Meyer & Hua Zhang & Yuan Ding, 2018. "Diplomatic and corporate networks: Bridges to foreign locations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 49(6), pages 659-683, August.
    14. Churen Sun & Yaying Liu, 2019. "Can China's Diplomatic Partnership Strategy Benefit Outward Foreign Direct Investment?," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 27(5), pages 108-134, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Benedikt Herz & Xosé-Luís Varela-Irimia, 2020. "Border effects in European public procurement [Information costs and home bias: an analysis of US holdings of foreign equities]," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(6), pages 1359-1405.
    2. Huang, Youxing & Yang, Yu, 2023. "Determinants of Chinese energy OFDI location decisions and entry failure risk: The roles of public diplomacy endeavors and firm investment strategies," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 267(C).
    3. (ed.), 0. "Research Handbook on Economic Diplomacy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 16053, December.
    4. Ndubuisi, Gideon & Konte, Maty, 2019. "Credit constraints and trade performance: Does trust-based social capital matter?," MERIT Working Papers 2019-046, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    5. Qin, Wei & Liang, Quanxi & Jiao, Yan & Lu, Meiting & Shan, Yaowen, 2022. "Social trust and dividend payouts: Evidence from China," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    6. Qiliang Mao & Xianzhuang Mao, 2021. "Cultural barriers, institutional distance, and spatial spillovers: Evidence from regional industrial evolution in China," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 1440-1481, September.
    7. Amore, Mario Daniele & Epure, Mircea, 2021. "Riding out of a financial crisis: The joint effect of trust and corporate ownership," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 92-109.
    8. Vesa Pursiainen, 2022. "Cultural Biases in Equity Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 77(1), pages 163-211, February.
    9. Alessandro, Martin & Cardinale Lagomarsino, Bruno & Scartascini, Carlos & Streb, Jorge & Torrealday, Jerónimo, 2021. "Transparency and Trust in Government. Evidence from a Survey Experiment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 138(C).
    10. Cieślik Andrzej & Gurshev Oleg, 2020. "Determinants of inward FDI in Ukraine: Does political stability matter?," International Journal of Management and Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, Collegium of World Economy, vol. 56(3), pages 243-254, September.
    11. Mazumder, Sharif & Rao, Ramesh, 2023. "Social trust and the choice between bank debt and public debt: Evidence from international data," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    12. Dak-Adzaklo, Cephas Simon Peter & Wong, Raymond M.K., 2024. "Corporate governance reforms, societal trust, and corporate financial policies," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    13. Sanne Hiller, 2014. "The Export Promoting Effect of Emigration: Evidence from Denmark," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 693-708, November.
    14. Paul Brockman & Sadok El Ghoul & Omrane Guedhami & Ying Zheng, 2022. "Does social trust affect international contracting? Evidence from foreign bond covenants," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 53(6), pages 1011-1044, August.
    15. Leonardo M. Klüppel & Lamar Pierce & Jason A. Snyder, 2018. "Perspective—The Deep Historical Roots of Organization and Strategy: Traumatic Shocks, Culture, and Institutions," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(4), pages 702-721, August.
    16. Knetsch, Andreas & Salzmann, Astrid, 2022. "Societal trust and corporate underinvestment," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 54(C).
    17. Baoyin Qiu & Junli Yu & Kuo Zhang, 2020. "Trust and Stock Price Synchronicity: Evidence from China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 167(1), pages 97-109, November.
    18. Peng Huang & Yue Lu & Robert Faff, 2021. "Social trust and the speed of corporate leverage adjustment: evidence from around the globe," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 61(2), pages 3261-3303, June.
    19. Gideon Ndubuisi & Solomon Owusu, 2022. "Trust, Efficient Contracting and Export Upgrading," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 34(6), pages 2708-2729, December.
    20. Jan Möhlmann & Sjef Ederveen & Henri L.F. de Groot & Gert-Jan M. Linders, 2009. "Intangible Barriers to International Trade: A Sectoral Approach," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-021/3, Tinbergen Institute.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:chinae:v:31:y:2023:i:6:p:134-155. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.