The traditional internationalization process theory posits that firms expand to overseas market after solid domestic firms’ experience. However, from the 1980s, we witnessed a breed of young entrepreneurial firms, which took on internationalization early in their evolution. They are called ‘Born Globals’. This study presents an integrative conceptual framework and identifies the underlying driving forces of the formation of Chinese born global firms. Specifically, this paper employs a quantitative survey research method to examine the driving force of the formation of Chinese born global firms. It traces the phenomenon to market level driving forces, company level factors, together with entrepreneur or manager level antecedents that triggered the formation of Chinese born global firms. It applies logistic regression analysis to explore and identify different driving forces. The main findings are threefold: firstly, stronger host country customer demand and stagnated domestic market growth lead to the formation of born global firms. Secondly, more international business trip experience, conference experience and relevant industry experience of founders or high level managers give rise to greater possibility of the occurrence of born global firms. Thirdly, the more globally committed the firms are to overseas market, the more likely for them to become born global firms.
Key words: China, born global firms, driving forces, small to medium-sized enterprises, entrepreneurship.
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