Liu W, Dicken P, 2006, "Transnational corporations and ‘obligated embeddedness’: foreign direct investment in China’s automobile industry" Environment and Planning A 38(7) 1229 – 1247
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Transnational corporations and ‘obligated embeddedness’: foreign direct investment in China’s automobile industry
Weidong Liu, Peter Dicken
Received 29 June 2004; in revised form 7 December 2004
Abstract. With the aid of an empirical case study of the automobile industry in China, we explore how, under certain political – economic conditions, the investments of transnational corporations (TNCs) can be shaped to meet the state’s objectives. We develop the concept of ‘obligated embeddedness’ to capture the dynamics of this process. We show that foreign direct investment in the automobile industry in China is a type of market-led and embedded investment which is characterised by joint ventures and the follow-up network configurations. However, to achieve such obligated embeddedness on the part of TNCs—and for the state and its citizens to gain its benefits—the state not only has to have the theoretical capacity to control access to assets located within its territory, but also the power actually to determine such access.
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