While buoyant compared with much of Europe and the US, China experienced its slowest growth in 13 years last year prompting many companies to look for new revenue streams, says Shaun Rein, the managing director of the China Market Research Group.
Some are taking their own brands overseas, while others are picking up established Western brands.
The latter tactic is particularly favoured by Chinese property developers, which have also been constrained by government limits on real estate.
China's Wanda Group bought US cinema chain AMC last year, while Fosun Group has made investments in holiday group Club Med and Greek luxury jewellers Folli Follie.
Ego is also at play, says Mr Rein.
"Entrepreneurs are very aggressive and ambitious. They want to become global brands and they want to be a global brand now."
"They are not quite as patient as Japanese and Korean firms were."
And the international aspirations of China's corporate elite have been quietly encouraged by Beijing, which is keen to be seen to have companies that compete at the multinational level...
"It's going to be a slow process," says Mr Rein. "I mean it took decades for Toyota and Sony to become viewed as anything other than (makers of ) cheap trinkets.
"But you are going to see more Chinese brands penetrating the everyday lives of European and American consumers."More in the BBC. Shaun Rein is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers' request form.
- China's economy does not need 8% growth - Shaun Rein (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- Li Ning falling from favor - Shaun Rein (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- Apple is the new Blackberry in China - Shaun Rein (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- The different consumer demographics - Shaun Rein (chinaherald.net)
- Trust crisis hits KFC's sales - Shaun Rein (chinaspeakersbureau.info)