Nowadays, with the policy of “Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation” and the initiative of “One Belt and One Road”, many Chinese new ventures have been established and conducted international entrepreneurship in world market. Based on the internet technology, the cross-border e-commerce platform can benefit Chinese new ventures in increasing foreign market share and its internationalization ratio. However, few researches have been done on the following questions: how can Chinese new ventures use cross-border e-commerce to conduct international entrepreneurship successfully? Are there some proper international entrepreneurship paths? If yes, how should Chinese new ventures choose among these paths? This paper focus on answering the above three questions. Obviously, this research will not only benefit Chinese new ventures in exploiting overseas market with the rapid development of cross-border e-commerce, but also provide insight for the study of cross-border e-commerce and international entrepreneurship.
The cross-border e-commerce-based international entrepreneurship path can be defined as that the new ventures use cross-border e-commerce to optimize the essential factors impacting the whole process of entrepreneurship including manufacturing, marketing and after-sale service, so that the strategy of international entrepreneurship can be formulated. There are both internal and external factors impacting new ventures to exploit cross-border e-commerce. The internal factor is international entrepreneurship team, while the external factor is international entrepreneurship environment. In this paper, international entrepreneurship team can be classified into technical team, marketing team and capital team. Similarly, international entrepreneurship environment can be classified into technical environment, marketing environment and capital environment. According to the classification of international entrepreneurship team and international entrepreneurship environment, this paper evaluates new ventures’ capability in international entrepreneurship and opportunity exploitation from the perspective of technology, marketing and capital. Based on the series of index originated from the classification of international entrepreneurship team and international entrepreneurship environment, this paper constructs a path model of international entrepreneurship with cross-border e-commerce. Using cross-case analysis, this paper explores the international entrepreneurship path of three companies such as Dinglong Holding, Century Group, and Qingdao Kingking.
In terms of Dinglong Holding, its score on technology is higher than capital which is higher than marketing. In another word, Dinglong Holding is a new venture oriented by technology. With its strong advantage on technology and patent, Dinglong Holding use the information and marketing channel of cross-border e-commerce platform to enhance its marketing capability and improve its financial capability. In addition, its technical capability is strengthened by using B2B model.
In terms of Century Group, its score on marketing is higher than capital which is higher than technology. In another word, Century Group is a new venture oriented by marketing. From the very beginning, Century Group focus on overseas’ niche market of security protection. In order to avoid its disadvantage of technology, Century Group starts by OEM and then transit to ODM by providing short life-cycle, valuable but low price product with the information and logistic system of cross-border e-commerce. At last, Century Group occupies the main share of overseas’ market of theft prevention system on electronic commodity by using the large scale customer resources.
In terms of Qingdao Kingking, its score on capital is higher than marketing which is higher than technology. In another word, Qingdao Kingking is a new venture oriented by capital. When the market of its product created by the original technology saturates, Qingdao Kingking switches its attention to the popular product category related to its advantageous product. Through this way, Qingdao Kingking can use its original advantage on capital and technology to achieve product innovation. Consequently, Qingdao Kingking uses cross-border e-commerce to reach the integration of technology and marketing and ultimately the simultaneous improvement of capability on technology and marketing.
Through case study, this paper argues that the essential factors of cross-border e-commerce-based international entrepreneurship include international entrepreneurship team and international entrepreneurship environment. As a result, this paper discovers three paths of international entrepreneurship named technical path, marketing path, and integration path of technology and market. Among these three paths, cross-border e-commerce has different impact on the two factors of international entrepreneurship. Because different international entrepreneurship teams have different capability on technology, marketing and capital, they use cross-border e-commerce to exploit the entrepreneurial resources and opportunities in different degree. Finally, it leads new ventures to choose different international entrepreneurship paths.
Furthermore, this paper argues that Chinese new ventures should consider their strengths and weaknesses on technical capability, marketing capability and capital capability seriously, so that they can choose the proper international entrepreneurship path by improving the relatively weak elements of international entrepreneurship including technology, market and capital through cross-border e-commerce.
Regarding the optimization of technical capability and technology environment, Chinese new ventures can adopt the successful experience of Dinglong Holding to enhance supply capability and formulate sustainable competitive advantage by independent innovation or micro-innovation. No matter which kind the new venture is classified, it should be familiar with the large scale cross-border e-commerce platform in main foreign market and establish its own data mining system or purchase the transaction and payment data from collaborative platforms, which benefits the new venture to understand fully the real needs and consumption habits of the customers. As a result, the new venture can sell their products in the market accordingly.
Regarding the optimization of marketing capability and market environment, with their resource restriction at inception, Chinese new ventures should choose just one or a few of cross-border e-commerce platform with high exposure rate and large scale volume, so that the problems including attention spread, high replication rate and low communication efficiency resulting from using many platforms can be avoided. Since online marketing has shortcoming such as low validity of survey and time lag in receiving customer feedback, it should be used with the combination of offline marketing.
Regarding the optimization of financing capability and capital environment, Chinese new ventures should take full advantage of “Internet Plus” age by using various financing channel to deal with capital shortage in the process of international entrepreneurship. With the support of current national policy toward small and micro enterprises in financing, the cross-border e-commerce platform can absorb social and private capital and attract the financial institutions or even the foreign investors to invest. Hence, Chinese new ventures can get more capital with low cost and high efficiency by exploiting these financing channels.