SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Weiwei Chen

BA (CCIT, China) MSc in Development Studies (SOAS)
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Weiwei Chen
Weiwei Chen
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Thesis title:
(Working title): The Dynamics of Chinese Private Outward Foreign Direct Investment in Ethiopia: A Comparison of Light Manufacturing Industry and Construction Material Industry
Internal Supervisors


Weiwei's academic interests include Chinese SMEs' internationalization; Chinese migrant entrepreneurs in Africa; Chinese private OFDI in SSA. Prior to her PhD at SOAS, she did internship in UNV (Bonn), Chinese Embassy in the UK. Weiwei has been working as a research assistant for principal investigator, Dr Carlos Oya in a 3-year international collaborative academic research project ‘Chinese Firms and Employment Dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Comparative Analysis’, funded by DFID-ESRC. She has conducted fieldwork in both Angola and Ethiopia since 2015. Research undertaken so far has led to a deep understanding of the ecosystem and way that Chinese firms operate in the Sub-Saharan Africa.

PhD Research

My research will look into the nature and dynamics of Chinese private OFDI in Ethiopia’s manufacturing industry. By taking light manufacturing industry and construction material industry as key comparison to explore why Chinese private firms are investing in Ethiopia, and to what extent do the investment trajectories of Chinese SMEs in these two sectors differ and why.