While it is widely recognised that an asset-augmenting rather than asset-exploiting strategy drives emerging multinationals’ (EMNEs) internationalization, current research focuses on the motivations behind knowledge seeking FDI. What remains less clear is why latecomer firms can engage in learning in advanced countries. Conjoining the “Linkage-Leverage-Learning (LLL)” framework and knowledge seeking literature, this study shows how Chinese investment in the European Union reveals the preconditions for foreign knowledge sourcing. We follow a set-theoretic approach, utilizing fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA), to identify equifinal configurations of linkage and leverage conditions leading to high learning propensity of EMNEs. Our analysis extends the LLL framework and complements the recent debate on the theory of the EMNE. We develop propositions based on distinct constellations of learning antecedents.