Emerging multinational enterprises (EMNEs) often engage in strategic-asset-seeking foreign direct investment (FDI) for competitive catch-up. This study explores the linkages between an EMNE’s competitive scenario consisting of a configuration of its awareness-motivation-capability (AMC) conditions and the comparative institutional advantages of its strategic-asset-seeking destination. Our configurational analyses of Chinese FDIs in the technology-intensive industries of OECD countries reveal a taxonomy of four distinct asset-seeking strategies of EMNEs. Our findings shed novel insights into the strategic variations within EMNEs based on a theoretically and methodologically extended AMC framework. This study also extends the varieties of capitalism literature by addressing the implications of comparative institutional advantages for foreign entrants, rather than domestic incumbent firms.