Factors Influencing Chinese Migrants’ Entrepreneurial Activity in Russia: A Case Study of Sverdlovsk Region

Jia Jin Lu, Liudmila S. Ruzhanskaya


Relevance: The need to find new sources of growth and structural development in old industrial regions has led to the growing interest in entrepreneurship and the requirements for fostering small and medium-sized businesses. Given the priorities of the Russian migration policy and the substantial number of migrants from China, it becomes evident that this demographic group holds significant importance for the country’s regional development.

Research Objective: This study aims to identify the motivations and constraints of Chinese migrants involved in business activities in Sverdlovsk region. The research relied on questionnaires and supplemented them with in-depth interviews. The authors investigated 35 migrant companies across various industries and sizes, representing over 5% of all entrepreneurs in the region from 2016 to 2022. Between January and December 2022, six in-depth interviews were conducted with Chinese entrepreneurs who had been working in Sverdlovsk for 1 to 15 years. The study also uses data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Unified Register of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, which encompassed 638 entrepreneurs and 721 companies owned by Chinese migrants operating in the region from 2016 to 2022.

Results: Chinese migrants are driven to engage in business activities in the Sverdlovsk region due to its expansive regional market, growth opportunities, and potential for high profits. However, they face barriers such as cross-cultural communication challenges, limited government support, and regulatory burdens.

Conclusion: To support migrant entrepreneurs, regional state regulators should simplify documentation processes, offer legal services or advice, include foreign entrepreneurs in government support policies, and establish effective communication channels. These actions will create a conducive environment for entrepreneurship and business development in the region.


Chinese migrants, entrepreneurship, business in Russia, small and medium-sized enterprises, old industrial regions, Sverdlovsk region

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15826/recon.2023.9.2.012

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