China | Hunger for foreign know-how propels surge in Chinese ODI
Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings took a majority stake in Supercell, which makes Clash of Clans. Photo: Supercell
Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings took a majority stake in Supercell, which makes Clash of Clans. Photo: Supercell

Hunger for foreign know-how propels surge in Chinese ODI

`Go Abroad' investments are up 53% in the first 10 months of the year, with funds chasing equipment manufacturers in particular

November 19, 2016 3:19 PM (UTC+8)

China’s latest outward direct investment (ODI) report shows an acceleration in the implementation of Beijing’s “Go Abroad” policy, despite a rising backlash against Chinese suitors in many developed countries.

Chinese contractors continued to secure a healthy amount of construction contracts abroad. These expanded by over 11% from a year ago, driven primarily by new projects from 61 countries along the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, which saw a 31% increase in aggregate contract value.

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China’s ODI surged 53% during the first 10 months of the year to US$145.96 billion, with funds snatching up businesses in the United States at nearly three times last year’s pace.

Chinese companies are now interested in a wide array of US firms, spanning tech, software, medical, high-end manufacturing, telecommunications, and more. In the past, investments in the US were primarily targeted at its energy and natural resources sectors.

Data from the Ministry of Commerce confirms that private and state-owned enterprises are going after one hot ticket in particular – foreign equipment manufacturers, and their technical know-how. Global Chinese ODI for this particular sub-category jumped 3.6 times to US$16.04 billion.

Chinese firms have bought into over 7,000 companies in 162 countries so far this year, according to Sun Jiwen, a spokesman for the Commerce Ministry.

Investment into the United States led the growth, increasing 173.9% year on year. The US – together with Hong Kong, the ASEAN countries, the EU, Australia, Russia and Japan – attracted US$109.15 billion dollars, accounting for 74.8% of mainland China’s total ODI.

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