Huaichuan Rui

Huaichuan Rui

Professor, Professor of International Business

  • TW20 0EX

    United Kingdom

Personal profile

Personal profile

Huaichuan Rui received her Ph.D from Judge Business School, University of Cambridge and is currently Professor of International Business at the School of Business and Management, Royal Holloway, University of London. She was a research team member of the Programme of Energy and Sustainable Development, Stanford University, and a visiting scholar of a number of universities. 


Huaichuan is a pioneering researcher on Chinese multinational enterprises. She has been leading the project of "China’s Outward Investment and Multinational Enterprises" (2005-present) for two decades, conducting extensive fieldworks and interviews in 30+ countries across Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Europe. She has interviewed over 1,000 of government officials (of China and host countries), executives and employees (of multinational, Chinese and local firms), local residents in host countries, and key figures in international organizations. The industries she has researched comprehensively include coal, oil/gas, steel, power equipment, automobile, telecommunicaiton, construction, and high-speed trains. The in-depth empirical research has enabled her to develop new theories and transform conventional thinking on multinational firms’ strategy, capability, and social and economic impact. 


Focusing on Chinese and developing coutnry firms' strategy, capability and impact, Huaichuan has explored multiple themes including these firms' catch-up, learning by doing, imitation and innovation, knowledge management, entrepreneurship, internationalization, development impact, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and government relationship. Her research receives worldwide recognition. As a result of the strong reputation earned by her innovative research on developing country firms, China and Africa, Huaichuan has been invited to many organizations around the world including the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), European Commisson and OECD to present her study on Chinese multinationals, trade and investment, geopolitical power and China's position in the world, among otehrs.


Between 2016 and 2021, Huaichuan collaborated with scholars of four universities in Europe to carry out the project entitled “Trust, Global Traders, and Commodities in a Chinese International City”, which won European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant of €2,442,400.00. The project focused on Yiwu, a small and poor city by the 1970s but the major international hub for the wholesale of small commodities today. Through fiedlworks and interviews in China, USA, UK, Hungary, UAE, India, Indonesia, France, Italy and Spain, Huaichuan examined how entrepreneurial-oriented governments and business people, both in China and overseas, enabled Yiwu’s success, and how Yiwu's low grade goods impacted on the economy, society and culture of the coutnries which imported Yiwu goods - currently more than 200 countries. 

Huaichuan's latest invited talks on "The history of China's high speed train" and "Institutions, infrastructure and geopolitics in Eurasian connectivity" can be found below:



Research interests

1. China's trade, investment, multinational firms, and development;

2. International business and strategy; multinaitonal enterprises;

3. The interaction of international business and world development;

4. Industries including energy (oil/gas, coal, coal liquefaction, renewable energy, electric power), construction, machinery (automobile, machine tools, power equipment), telecommunications, high speed rail and commercial aircraft.


“International Business (BSc, MBA)”, “Strategic Management (BSc)”, “Asia Pacific Business (BSc)”, "Management of Asian Multinationals (MSc)", “Cooperative Strategy (MSc, Distance Learning MBA)”, and "China and Internal Economy (MSc, Distance Learning MBA)”.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Education/Academic qualification

Management, Ph.D, University of Cambridge

1 Jan 199919 Jul 2003

Award Date: 19 Jul 2003

External positions

China Forum Committee, University of Cambridge

9 Nov 2022 → …

Advisory Committee of Sussex Asia Centre, Sussex University

2015 → …

Editorial Board Member

2011 → …

Guest Professor, Nanjing Normal University, China



  • 1. International business and strategy; Foreign direct investment; Multinationals;

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or