Impact

China Investment Monitor: Capturing Chinese Foreign Investment Data in Real Time

We map the tectonic shifts in Chinese outbound mergers and acquisitions, capturing the most important trends for investors.

As President Donald Trump arrived Beijing for his first state visit to China, a group of bipartisan lawmakers on Capitol Hill unveiled legislation aimed at protecting the U.S. against “potential adversaries, such as China.” This action was driven in part by concerns about the surge of Chinese investment, a trend we have tracked closely.

Our China Investment Monitor, launched in 2011, shows Chinese direct investment in the U.S by year, industry, sector, deal type, and government ownership. The tool is a testament to our ability to make complex issues easy to understand.

Updated regularly, the interactive map is go-to source for journalists reporting on investment flows from China, which offer both lucrative opportunities for American companies and potential security threats. This tool has become increasingly essential with new wrinkles emerging in the complex bilateral economic relationship between the two countries.

The Trump administration has ratcheted up scrutiny of foreign investment deals. Congress wants to subject Chinese investments to greater scrutiny through a significant expansion of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a move geared toward limiting access sensitive technology. Meanwhile, capital controls put in place by Beijing have triggered a notable drop in Chinese outbound foreign direct investments.

Chinese FDI in the United States has grown rapidly over the past decade, yet there is a lack of reliable, real-time data sources to track this trend. Official data often exhibit a one to two year time lag and do not capture major trends, due to issues such as trans-shipping of investments.

The goal of our database is to offer an alternative perspective on Chinese direct investment in the US by providing an accurate and real-time assessment of trends to policy leaders, executives, and the general public in both China and the US, leading to better policymaking and understanding of opportunities and risks.

It currently covers the period from 2000 to the present. The China Investment Monitor is updated on a quarterly basis and made available to the public in aggregate form, together with commentary on recent patterns, specific transactions, and policy developments.

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