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Why do incumbents fund startups? A study of the antecedents of corporate venture capital in China


Research Policy


Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Authors / Editors

Dushnitsky G;Yu L


Publication Year



Established firms are instrumental in funding entrepreneurial ventures, a practice known as corporate venture capital (CVC). Yet, our knowledge of the reasons firms engage in CVC is calibrated mainly on data from the United States and Europe. Such a restricted focus limits our understanding of CVC practices and objectives. Accordingly, we adopt an abductive approach to study the antecedents of CVC in China. The country is a vibrant entrepreneurial setting, second only to the USA in total startup numbers and funding amounts. We construct a comprehensive data of Chinese CVCs during the late 2010s by integrate Chinese and international databases. Cross-industry analyses of CVC patterns underscore a novel objective; one that is predominantly associated with harnessing growth through market expansion rather than the prevailing view of CVC as a window on technology. The findings mirror the features of the Chinese setting, where entrepreneurs profit from the dramatic expansion in economic activity and serve as a vehicle to leverage the global innovation frontier.

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