Professor Huaichuan Rui

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 Management, Royal Holloway, University of London. She is also the Director of China-Africa Research Project in the Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge. She was a Lecturing Professor of Nanjing Normal University and a Research Team Member of the Programme of Energy and Sustainable Development, Stanford University.


Huaichuan is a pioneering researcher on emerging market multinational enterprises (EMNEs). She has been leading the project of "China’s Outward Investment and Multinational Enterprises" (2005-present), conducting extensive fieldworks and interviews around the world including Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Europe. She has interviewed over 500 of government officials (of China and host countries), managers and employees (of Chinese firms and local firms), local residents in host countries, and key figures in NGOs and international organizations. The in-depth research has enabled her to develop new theories and publish over 20 peer reviewed journal articles and books, transforming current thinking by creating ground-breaking theories on EMNEs’ strategy, capability, and social and economic impact.


Focusing on EMNEs’ strategy, capability and impact, Huaichuan has explored multiple themes including EMNEs’ internationalization strategy, innovation, absorptive capacity, learning by doing, knowledge management, entrepreneurship, HR, parent subsidiary relationship, development impact, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and culture. Her research receives wide recognition. As a result of the strong reputation earned by her innovative research on emerging market firms, China and Africa, Huaichuan has been invited to many organizations to present her research findings. In 2006, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) invited her to present her research on Chinese investment in Africa. In 2013, she was invited again by the UNCTAD to present her study on China’s investment in Africa’s infrastructure.


In 2015, Huaichuan received a substantial grant from European Research Council (ERC) and a small grant from British Academy on a research project “Trust, Global Traders, and Commodities in a Chinese International city” (2015-present). Led by professor Magnus Marsden of the University of Sussex, the project focuses on Yiwu, a small and poor city by the 1970s but the major international hub for the wholesale of small commodities today. Huaichuan examines how policies and entrepreneurship enable Yiwu’s success and contribution to the world, especially the poor.  



Research interests

1. International business and strategy; Multinaitonal enterprises (MNEs);

2. Emerging market multinationals (EMNEs): strategy, capability (R&D, knowledge management), and impact (development impact, CSR);

3. The interaction of international business and world development;

4. Industrial research on energy (oil/gas, coal, coal liquefaction, renewable energy, electric power), mining, machinery (automobile, machine tools, power equipment), telecommunications, and high speed rail.

5. Chinese and global traders and trading policies.


“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)”.

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