China’s Rise, World Order, and the Implications for International Business

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Abstract

It is increasingly clear that China’s economic and political power rivals that of the US. This is potentially a serious problem for multinational companies, since China’s rise could lead to more US–China trade conflict and disruption of supply chains, threatening new and ongoing foreign direct investment, and drawing other countries into the jostling for power. However, we argue that globalization is not necessarily endangered by China’s emergence as a comparable power to the US. The US and China both have vested interests in maintaining the open economic order, and these two countries are each providing the global public goods that incentivize economic openness among other countries of the world. In this paper, we develop a theory corresponding to this argument and provide evidence that globalization has not declined even as the global distribution of power has shifted. While global integration is likely to persist, disruptive skirmishes between the US and China will occur with some regularity. Therefore, we suggest that international company strategies today should focus more on risk management related to policy shifts stemming from China’s rise and less on achieving least-cost global supply chains. We present a risk management framework for this purpose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalManagement International Review
Volume61
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • China
  • Dual hegemony
  • Global integration
  • International business
  • Trade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management

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