Stakeholders’ Perceptions of Chinese Takeovers: The Case of Germany and Italy - Evidence from the national press
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· Purpose: First, the paper aims at investigating how Chinese takeovers are perceived by stakeholders (shareholders, government/policy-makers, and employees/unions), as reflected in the national press of Italy and Germany. They constitute two large economies of the EU that differ with regard to culture and political concerns but have seen significant takeover activities by Chinese. Second, we compare stakeholders’ perceptions of these activities in two major national news magazines. · Methodology: We examined the articles and screened them for content (positive, neutral and negative perceptions expressed by the three categories). · Results: The German government highlights the growing awareness of a one-sided technology drain, while the Italian tends to perceive China as a negative investor, probably fearing its “colossal” influence in today’s interdependent world economy and its consequent “domino effect”. German and Italian shareholders have positive perceptions due to economic benefits, whereas employee perceptions are rarely reflected in the German press and are absent in the Italian. · Research limitations: Our data derive from two national magazines and are limited to the year 2016-2017. The political orientation and social categories’ representation of these periodicals are not taken into account at this stage. · Practical implications: We shed light on how host country stakeholders’ perceptions are represented in the national press. We help interpret the phenomenon employees, which seems to be under-represented in the examined countries. · Originality of the study: We add to the literature on China goes global an important aspect that has been widely neglected so far: the voice of employees among the public opinion.