2023 Student Research Project | Regulating Global China: Mapping Chinese national regulations on corporate overseas behaviors

Supervisors: Yuan Wang, Assistant Professor of International Relations & Jiahua Yue, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Student Researchers

Yihan Chen is a sophomore at Duke Kunshan University, majoring in Computation and Design/Social Policy track. Yihan Chen is mainly responsible for the PKULaw national regulation database establishment and NexisUni codebook development.

Jiayi Wei is a sophomore at Duke Kunshan University, interested in public policy, international relationships, and law. She is also mainly responsible for the codebook and database construction for the second step of this research.

Zihan Chen is a sophomore at Duke Kunshan University, interested in international politics, foreign affairs and human rights law. He contributed to the first step of this research by sifting through the database to capture all current Chinese laws and regulations on outbound investment.

About the Project

What are the policy instruments for the Chinese government to regulate corporate overseas behaviors and what influenced issuing these instruments? This research endeavors to assess the quality and consequences of Chinese companies’ overseas activities via two steps. In the initial phase, our research team focuses on mapping China’s national-level legislative landscape. We establish a comprehensive database encompassing national regulations related to Chinese companies’ overseas activities through PKULaw, a legal database. Thus far, we have amassed a repository of over 5,000 pertinent legal documents including regulations, guidelines, and provisional measures by manual coding, drawn from diverse Chinese issuing authorities. Our overarching goal is the creation of an unbiased repository that accurately reflects the Chinese government’s initiatives and efficacy in overseeing overseas investments.

In the second phase, our focus shifts towards constructing a comprehensive database of news events occurring within the context of Chinese companies’ overseas endeavors. Our primary analytical focus centers on African nations, acknowledging their pivotal role in the Belt and Road Initiative and the ongoing discourse regarding China’s involvement. Throughout the database development process, we developed selection criteria: A qualified data entry must encompass specific event details, including the precise time and location of occurrence, as well as the identities of the relevant companies involved. While the second phase remains ongoing, we have successfully completed the groundwork with the creation of a detailed codebook.

This research seeks to provide valuable insights into Beijing’s regulations towards corporate overseas activities by examining the interplay between the legal framework and news events, ultimately evaluating the Chinese government’s responsiveness and determination.