PUBLI : Simeng Wang, Xiabing Chen et Tanyu Lui, « How to turn a crisis into an opportunity ? An empirical study of entrepreneurial model transition catalyzed by the Covid-19 pandemic among Chinese entrepreneurs in France » (« 如何转危为机 : 法国华商受新冠疫情催化实现商业模式转型的一项实证研究 »), The International Journal of Diasporic Chinese Studies (华人研究国际学报), vol. 12, 2020, p. 1–23


After a review of the forma­tion and deve­lop­ment of Chinese commerces in France over the last century, this article analyses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their commer­cial prac­tices and their willin­gness to achieve the trans­for­ma­tion of enter­prises and busi­ness patterns, under the unpre­ce­dented situa­tions such as “decon­fi­ne­ment” and “back to work”. The authors conducted an empi­rical study combi­ning quali­ta­tive and quan­ti­ta­tive methods with Chinese entre­pre­neurs in France coming from five different sectors (import and export, retail, cate­ring, hotel, and tobacco). Research findings and case studies show that the COVID-19 pandemic acce­le­rated the tran­si­tion of Chinese entre­pre­neurs in France from tradi­tion to moder­nity, from the marginal economy to inte­gra­tion into the mains­tream economy. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, some Chinese entre­pre­neurs had already made or partially made the tran­si­tion to “inte­gra­ting online and offline busi­nesses”, “hiring beyond Chinese ethnic networks” and “paying atten­tion to and skill­fully captu­ring the local country’s policy direc­tions”, which helped them reduce the impact of the epidemic to a large extent. At the same time, the sani­tary crisis has opened up to two unpre­ce­dented oppor­tu­ni­ties : “foste­ring local produc­tion” and “seeking low-risk sector” may be the new trends for the Chinese commerces in France in the future​.In the epidemic and post-epidemic era, the entre­pre­neu­rial model tran­si­tion of oversea Chinese entre­pre­neurs needs to be examined beyond the frame­work of pure economic ratio­na­lity, within a wider consi­de­ra­tion the new dyna­mics of Chinese migra­tion in the host coun­tries, and the cross-cultural, cross-insti­tu­tional, cross-thin­king, and cross-border social enga­ge­ment of these oversea Chinese entre­pre­neurs themselves.

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