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Chinese businesses in Africa. Perspectives on corporate social responsibility and the role of Chinese government policies

Xiaoxue Weng, Lila Buckley Editors

Discussion paper

China’s business engagement in developing countries has grown rapidly in the past decade through direct investment, contract projects and trade. This discussion paper explores the role that Chinese policies and guidelines play in governing Chinese companies overseas, through the experiences and perceptions of representatives in those companies. We present the key findings of fieldwork in Mozambique, Kenya and Uganda during August–September 2015, including a survey and interviews with fifty-eight Chinese personnel working for Chinese companies in these locations. What emerges is a picture of a complex governance environment affecting the companies’ social and environmental behaviours — in which Chinese policies play only a small role.

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Weng, X. and Buckley, L. (eds) (2016) Chinese businesses in Africa: Perspectives on corporate social responsibility and the role of Chinese government policies. IIED Discussion Paper. IIED, London.

Project information

China's economic progress over the past few decades has been dramatic, but so are the challenges in social and environmental governance both within the country and in its overseas engagement. IIED's China team works to improve China's role as an international development actor at home and abroad, particularly in Africa.

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