Research on international business presents ‘liability of foreignness’ as a key factor in a Multinational Enterprise’s (MNE’s) operations, but it has not addressed ‘foreignness’ as a complex and dynamic phenomenon. Adopting an identity work perspective, this article examines ‘foreignness’ as social construct, studying how a Chinese MNE manoeuvres the local economic and political contexts. We also shift the focus from ‘liability of foreignness’ to ‘liability of origin’, as elements associated with the home country can also implicate liability. We discuss the market entry of a private Chinese manufacturing company in Hungary and the Netherlands as a proxy for Europeanization, analysing regional and local strategies pursued by the company in organizing its business and representing its corporate identity when dealing with divergent European contexts.
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