This paper examines the effect of ethnic populations on international opportunity exploitation at a societal, or national, level. Past research shows a relationship between ethnic ties and international opportunity at an individual level; however, little is known about the role of ethnic ties and international opportunity at a national level, which is called ‘ethno-national ties’ in this study. In order to acquire in-depth knowledge of this subject, we studied a population of Chinese who are living outside their home country and applied contingency theory principles to investigate environmental boundary conditions that affect this population. Data collected from Chinese exporters indicate an overall positive effect of ethno-national ties on international opportunity exploitation—an effect that is influenced by three moderating variables: technological turbulence, psychic distance, and export barriers. Technological turbulence and export barriers weaken the effect of ethno-national ties on international opportunity exploitation while psychic distance enhances the effect.