ABSTRACT

This chapter investigates the internationalisation of the innovative SMEs examined in this study, and in particular discusses two approaches taken by the SMEs examined in the current study to internationalise their businesses in China. The findings show that SMEs have either adopted the stages model or built the international new venture (INV) or the so-called Born-Global approach. It appears that the choice of entry mode determined the approach of SME internationalisation, and in turn this would influence SME behaviours and corresponding characteristics. Specifically, it was found that the wholly owned foreign entities (WOFEs) displayed the characteristics of the stages model. SMEs focusing mainly on importing were not interested in further internationalisation, whilst those exporting SMEs would aim to move up the stages of internationalisation process, however, often faced the issue of liability of smallness (LOS). It was also evident that many born in China (BIC) firms internationalised via a born-global/INV approach. Implications to SMEs in other contexts are discussed.