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Chinese investment in US targets high-tech firms

Chinese outbound investment in the US is increasingly targeting high-tech firms, driven by changes in the Chinese growth model and greater freedom for private firms, a report said.

Chinese firms have started to invest in a broad range of automobile, information technology, machinery, aviation and medical device companies in the US, according to a report jointly released today by the Asia Society, the Rhodium Group and the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

Annual Chinese investment in the US high-tech sector has topped US$1 billion since 2010. In the first quarter of 2014 alone, such high-tech deals were worth more than US$6 billion, including the takeovers of Motorola Mobility, IBM's x86 server unit and electric carmaker Fisker.

The trend is a shift from an initial focus on energy and real estate.

“Successful investments will make Americans recognize the benefits of greater economic integration with China and remind Chinese leaders that openness and convergence with a market-based innovation approach is in China’s own interest,” said report authors Thilo Hanemann and Daniel H. Rosen.

The report found that Chinese high-tech investors have created or sustained more than 25,000 jobs in the US.

The boom in high-tech investment is mainly motivated by policy liberalization and changing commercial realities in the Chinese marketplace that are encouraging domestic firms to tap the talent base and advanced American institutions.

The report also addressed challenges for a productive US-China investment relationship such as the politicization and abuse of legitimate national security concerns on both sides, “unfair advantages” enjoyed by Chinese enterprise in global competition, a lack of reciprocity in market processes and industrial policy biases.


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