The China factor and its influence on FDI decisions in China's hotel real estate sector

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The China factor and its influence on FDI decisions in China's hotel real estate sector

 

Author: Grunewald, Alexander
Title: The China factor and its influence on FDI decisions in China's hotel real estate sector
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2010
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Investments, Foreign -- China.
Hotels -- China
Hospitality industry -- China
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: xv, 263 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2351714
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/5567
Abstract: In the past years, a wide body of research has been conducted on foreign direct investment (FDI) in transition economies. The special case of the People's Republic of China has received particular attention since the country's leadership officially sparked the economic reform process in 1978. The majority of research is firmly rooted in positivism. The positivistic understanding of FDI at the level of macroeconomic aggregates is in parts very different to the commercial reality of entities involved in FDI transactions on a project level. Stakeholders in various settings outside China already have very distinct views of conditions within the country. It is time to add to this discussion by presenting in detail how China is not a homogeneous market. but is in fact, highly diversified. What is more, the socio-political environment in China is subject to constant changes. Although literature available on the subject is vast, it requires continuous updates. This study investigates the determinants on which FDI-decisions in hotel real estate in China are based, therefore enhancing the stakeholders understanding. It provides an insight into dynamic decision-making processes in this specific area during times of socio-economic transformation in the world's largest transition economy and is based upon demographic magnitude, as well as geo-political and economic relevance. This research shows that hotel investment is taking place at the intersection of tourism policy, urban planning, and real estate economics. It sheds light on institutional conditions under which such transactions take place. This work is built on critical theory, adopting a (primarily Straussian) grounded theory approach. This modus operandi broaches relevant stakeholders' tacit knowledge, revealing the complexity of the socio-economic reality they experience. The more investors can understand the springs of their own behavior and the social institutions in which that behavior is involved, the more likely they are to be able to break away from previous business and political constraints. Analysis of this dissertation points to the abstraction of three distinct categories which capture specific concepts describing principal influences on foreign-invested hotel properties in China. These are (1) hotels' hedonist appeal (HHA). (2) investors' sphere of influence (SOI). and (3) Poly-Politics (POP). Where HHA refers to the auxiliary nature of hotel assets in the wider area of real estate economics and whilst hotel developments are driven by hedonist motives, their immediate economic efficiency becomes secondary. SOI refers to the foreign investors ability to control their business environment. It becomes a function of a wider market entry strategy into China, and acknowledges the importance of actively developing and managing relationships with various parties involved in the development process. POP refers to the differences in political governance across China, its literally amorphous nature and the multi-directedness of political decision-making. This is dependent on (i) geography, (ii) administrative levels, and (iii) time, causing a certain degree of arbitrariness and constant policy changes to foreign investors. These effects can begin at the onset of an investment project development process through to its actual operation.

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