Emerging multinational enterprises (EMNEs) often engage in strategic - asset - seeking foreign direct investment (FDI) for competitive catch - up . This study explores the linkages between an EMNE ' s competitive scenario consisting of a configuration of its awareness - motivation - capability (AMC) conditions and the comparative institutional advantages of its strategic - asset - seeking destination . Our configurational analyses of Chinese FDIs in the technology - intensive industries of OECD countries reveal a taxonomy of four distinct asset - seeking strategies of EMNEs . Our findings shed novel insights into the strategic variations within EMNEs based on a theoretically and methodologically extended AMC framework . This study also extends the varieties of capitalism literature by addressing the implications of comparative institutional advantages for foreign entrants , rather than domestic incumbent firms .