Financial News

  • 24 March 2014, 10:33

China 'Targets Foreign Firms To Boost Research'

Chinese investors are targeting hi-tech foreign firms to gain vital knowledge on research and development (R&D) techniques.

That is the reason behind a sharp rise in foreign investments, according to an article in the English language People's Daily - seen as an official source of Chinese government thinking.

In the report author Hao Jie said there was a "logic" behind a huge boost in key markets abroad.

"The rapid increase in China's investments in the US has its internal logic.

"As the world's biggest mature market, with the most advanced technologies and the strongest R&D capability, the US will continue to attract Chinese investment.

"Areas with the greatest investment potential include infrastructure, energy, and middle and high end manufacturing."

She said that the investments helped Chinese companies improve their own R&D ability and "get closer to American consumers through developing local logistics and distribution channels".

Foreign direct investments (FDI) in the US have increased quickly in recent years.

Before 2011 private investments in the US were less than a third of the total, rising to 54% in 2012 and 76% last year.

Total investment in America doubled last year to a record $14bn (8.5bn), according to the Rhodium Group.

Europe, as America's key mature competitor, has also been a hot spot for Chinese firms for investment and trade.

According to Eurostat, China's stock across the EU grew almost threefold in 2011, to ?15bn (12.5bn).

FDI has been seen as a way around certain restrictions placed on Chinese firms getting a direct foothold in Western countries.

China's telecoms giant Huawei has been thwarted in its attempts to establish foreign arms.

In 2012, Australia banned it from involvement in its $36bn (22bn) national broadband network on security grounds.

Its founder was said to be linked to China's military and Australia's security agency Asio opposed its bidding.

Later that year, the US House Intelligence Committee said Huawei "cannot be trusted" to be free of Beijing's influence and recommended limitations on its involvement in public networks.

In July, a former CIA boss said Huawei spied on behalf of China, a claim the company denied.

Huawei already has a major foothold in Britain, but last December it was announced intelligence agency GCHQ would be given a greater role at the company's Cyber Security Evaluation Centre.

Since then intelligence agencies from the US, Australia and Britain have themselves come under increasing public scrutiny over their alleged spying activities on global telecommunications, in the wake of revelations by ex-NSA worker Edward Snowden.