In this paper we investigate the choice of FDI versus joint-venture, made by Italian, Spanish and Swiss multinationals in China, as shaped by the risk of Dissipation of Intangible Assets. Probit estimates, based on an entirely new firm-level dataset, constructed by the author, show that FDI is more likely to emerge when know-how easily spills over – namely for firms endowed with more Intangible Assets or belonging to high tech sectors – in line with the theoretical expectations.