abstract This study examines the determinants of the timing of Taiwanese firms' entry into China. Our empirical findings suggest that this strategic decision is influenced by both economic and institutional concerns. In particular, we found that Taiwanese firms that expected greater benefits from early entry tended to be early entrants in China, while those that were more sensitive to uncertainty chose to defer their entry. We also found a curvilinear relationship between firm size and timing of entry into China. Our findings further indicate that the negative relationship between investment irreversibility and early entry is weaker in the presence of substantial perceived first mover advantages.