Invited Speaker
Dr. Xin Li, Senior Lecturer (equivalent to Associate Professor)

Dr. Xin Li, Senior Lecturer (equivalent to Associate Professor)

Newcastle University Business School, U.K.
Speech Title: What explains TikTok’s international success?

Abstract: In this talk, I will explain the rapid international success of TikTok, a Chinese-made social media app. The topic is of academic and practical value because the common sense is that firms from emerging markets are normally deemed as copycats and have rarely gained global popularity, needless to say in a short period of time. One explanation of TikTok’s rapid international success is that it is due to TikTok’s business model innovation. In this talk, I will debunk such a business model innovation argument. Afterwards, I will explain TikTok’s rapid international success by focusing on how ByteDance, the Chinese firm that developed TikTok, has overcome the three major hurdles facing emerging market firms when internationalizing, namely, the liability of foreignness, liability of origin, and the paradox of global integration and local responsiveness. An important element of my explanation is that TikTok uses advance digital technologies such as artificial intelligence algorithm to overcome the paradox of global integration and local responsiveness.

Keywords: emerging market, internationalization, liabilities of origin, paradox, artificial intelligence, strategy

Biography: I joined Newcastle University Business School as Senior Lecturer (equivalent to Associate Professor) in International Management in February 2021. Prior to this, I worked as Assistant Professor in International Business at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark.
I obtained a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Copenhagen Business School, Denmark (2011), an M.Sc. in Business Studies from Aston University Business School, UK (2004), and a B.Eng. in Computer Applications from Southwest Petroleum University, China (1999). Between 2005 and 2007, I did two year PhD in Strategic Management study at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK with a 3-year full scholarship (study discontinued and no degree obtained).
I am, by inclination, a theory-oriented scholar, aspiring to develop new theories that deepen our understandings of critical academic questions and important practical issues. I have broad research interests within business and management field. Currently, I focus on addressing some foundational theoretical questions of international business, strategic management, and paradox research. I am particularly interested in bridging Chinese and Western perspectives in business and management scholarship. My researches have been published in academic journals such as Academy of Management Review (AMR), Asia Pacific Journal of Management (APJM), Journal of Management Inquiry (JMI), and Management and Organization Review (MOR).

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