Purpose-To understand the rationale for foreign direct investment of Chinese electronic companies, their location decisions and entry mode choices Methodology/approach-Secondary data on foreign direct investment of the top 100 companies in China's electronics industry are analysed. The first part covers an exploratory analysis of the industry and the second part presents a comparative longitudinal analysis of three case studies of representative companies: Haier, Huawei, and Lenovo. Findings-The three key findings are: (1) market-seeking is the primary motivation for foreign direct investment of Chinese companies in the electronics industry, yet the strategic-asset-seeking gains importance as the internationalization of the company advances; (2) foreign investment path normally starts at adjacent foreign markets, but more distant markets are gradually targeted and become more important for the company; (3) wholly owned investments are the preferred market entry modes in the international expansion. Research limitations/implications-This research is based on secondary data, and more in-depth, interview-based studies are needed to explore the perceptions of decision-makers, and a plethora of contextual factors, which result in specific market entry decisions. As only the 100 largest companies were studied, future research should put under scrutiny also internationalization of smaller firms. Practical implications-Implications of such findings are discussed in the light of classic internationalization theories as well as the current research on internationalization of companies from emerging/developing countries. Originality/value-Provides an account of foreign direct investment in a context of a substantial and growing importance for the practice of international business, and identifies an agenda for promising future scholarly inquiries.