China’s Soft Power in Africa or Real Corporate Accountability?

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsComment/debate

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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationPeace Brief
Issue number232
Online published20 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


• Official policy support for corporate social responsibility (CSR) coincides with Chinese companies’ global expansion under the Going Out and Belt and Road Initiatives, which now include green development goals.

• At home, China’s state-led model of CSR emphasizes legal compliance and accountability for environmental and social impacts on local stakeholders. Central government policies for outbound Chinese investment follow this model and are driven by the state’s interest in improving the reputation and competitiveness of its multinationals.

• CSR practices are still maturing among Chinese firms. Because they are also voluntary, Chinese government actors cannot control how Chinese firms implement CSR at home or abroad.

• International support through capacity-building and monitoring can help Chinese companies and banks strengthen CSR practices, improving their transparency and accountability to local and global stakeholders.

• More research into the CSR efforts of Chinese companies in Africa is needed, in particular on the impact they have on peacebuilding.

Research Area(s)

  • CSR, China, corporate accountability

Bibliographic Note

Information for this record is supplemented by the author(s) concerned.