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Chinese investment in Europe has decreased significantly

Chinese investment in Europe has decreased significantly

Chinese investment in Europe again fell sharply last year. They focused mainly on the automotive and consumer goods industries, according to a study published today in Berlin by the MERICS institute specializing in China. The main beneficiaries are four countries: Germany, Great Britain, France and Hungary.

Chinese investment in Europe totaled €7.9 billion in 2022. This corresponds to the level of 2013 and represents a decrease of 22 percent compared to 2021. Three-quarters of this is in the automotive and consumer goods industries.

Focus on electric vehicle batteries

Major projects focus on batteries for electric vehicles. According to the study, “green field investments”, in which Chinese companies set up overseas subsidiaries or build new production facilities, are now in the lead – totaling €4.5 billion and mainly battery plants.

For the first time since 2008, it has become more important than acquisitions and mergers. These investments totaled 3.4 billion euros, the lowest level since 2011. “Investments in green fields are less tightly regulated than controversial acquisitions in critical infrastructure or the technology sector,” said Max Zenglen, chief economist at MERICS.

According to the study, Germany, France, Great Britain and Hungary accounted for 88 percent of Chinese investments in Europe. Battery companies from the People’s Republic – CATL, Envision AESC and SVOLT – are investing in new plants here.

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