China’s Acquisitions in Europe -European Perceptions of Chinese Investments and their Strategic Implications

Authors:

  • Jerker Hellström

Publish date: 2017-01-11

Report number: FOI-R--4384--SE

Pages: 57

Written in: English

Keywords:

  • China
  • Europe
  • European Union
  • EU
  • foreign direct investment
  • FDI
  • mergers and acquisitions
  • M&A
  • strategic assets
  • statistics

Abstract

The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the strategic implications of Chinese investment in Europe as perceived by European scholars and officials. As a basis for this analysis, the report outlines the characteristics of these investments in terms of magnitude over time during 2005-2015, but also in regard to sectors and countries targeted by Chinese investors. The main conclusion of the report is that the rapid increase in Chinese takeovers of European companies has fuelled concerns among political observers and policymakers over a wide range of issues. These issues include potential negative strategic implications for individual EU member states and the EU as a whole, links between the Chinese Communist Party and the investing enterprises, and the lack of reciprocity in terms of limited access for European investors to the Chinese market. The report also concludes that the growth in Chinese investment is to a large extent a result of the Chinese government's reduced restrictions on outbound investment and policies to encourage companies to look overseas for acquisitions. However, it should also be noted that Chinese investment in Europe remains on comparatively low levels, despite strong growth in the number and scale of Chinese acquisitions, a development which is increasingly being referred to as a "shopping spree."

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