This study investigated the less explored expatriation practices of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets. Data for 133 Taiwan SMEs operating in Malaysia and Vietnam revealed that four personality traits of expatriates, i.e., control ability, independence, openness and social ability exert significant influences on overseas performance given that different types of performance require different of expatriate competency. Analytical results also indicated that the widely perceived influence of the favorable evaluation of the expatriate by top managers does not impact the overseas performance of expatriates. Further, the expatriate practices of Taiwan SMEs vary depending on cultural differences between the home country and host countries. Taken together, the findings of this study have valuable implications for both academicians and practitioners in international management.