25 minute read

Why Is China Investing so Much in Europe?

Chinese investment in Europe is nine times greater than in the US. And this staggering difference is heavily influenced by the Trump administration as they tackle China economically, and as Beijing creates tighter capital controls.

After reading this article you will understand why China is investing in Europe, and the strategic importance of the acquisitions and investments made by China in European startups and corporations.

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You will also find two in-depth tables covering the largest acquisitions and investments to date with key metrics included.

 

China 'going global'

China’s Going Global strategy of 2000 marked a turning point in outward foreign direct investment (FDI).

Prior to this strategy, China promoted inward investments to help grow their economy, and outward flowing investments were very restrictive.

But times have changed, and they seek to become an innovation-driven economy over an investment-driven one.

investment driven economy over innovation driver economy

This strategy has seen a revamp, labeled ‘going global 2.0’ where the focus has shifted from solving resource security and protecting the China model, to stimulating global demand and blending with local operators.

These changes brought an influx in FDI globally, and one point of focus has been the investment in Europe, signifying the peak of investment in 2016 of over EUR 37 billion.

However, investment has been on the decline with investments in 2018 worth EUR 17.3 billion. That is over 50 percent less than in 2016.

 

Annual Chinese FDI in the EU graph  Annual Chinese FDI in the EU by year

 

In the beginning, larger economies in the EU were not too concerned about the influx of investment in the EU. But the rather large increase in 2016 promoted EU powers to take a second glance at the ulterior motive of China.

The main reason for this skepticism comes as the reciprocity in FDI is lacking. Investment from China in Europe remains relatively unblocked.  Whereas China contains more roadblocks in place in order to protect its economy and 'sensitive industries'.

The recent decline in funding can be attributed to two main factors. Firstly, the tighter capital control and "tightening of liquidity in China" in an effort to stabilize the currency. And secondly, the increase of screening processes put in place in the EU.

With the introduction of an EU-wide framework effective from April 2019, it aims to improve the cooperation and coordination of EU countries in respect to FDI.

Merics reports that "the framework allows the European Commission to issue opinions on transactions that concern multiple member states or target a project or program affecting the interests of the EU as a whole". It is a positive step that incentivizes the introduction of a sturdy FDI monitoring process in European countries. However, it only covers acquisitions.

Steps have been taken prior to the introduction of this framework to block deals. For example, Germany, for the first time, blocked the sale of Leifeld Metal Spinning during the summer of 2018, sending a strong message.

In Germany and the UK, the screening process has only recently been adopted, with the UK focusing on “sensitive” industries.

And as of yet, only a couple handfuls of EU countries have adopted screening processes. See images below from Merics to see the screening processes adopted by European countries as of 2018.

 

Three column tableThree column table

Because of the vast cultural, political and economic difference within the EU, it is difficult to strike a common approach to FDI, especially when it is coming from China. Therefore, it is hoped the new EU-wide framework will be welcomed and increase communication across countries.

 

Participation of Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EC at the 20th China EU Summit
Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk, Premier Li Keqiang at the July 2018 EU- China summit | Photo from European Commission 

 

Where are the investments going?

The Made in China (2025) policy has prioritized the development of sectors. The policy has set firm market share goals in software, intelligent manufacturing, and integrated circuits.

This is in an effort to assist in industrial development, but overseas expansion in ICT is proving difficult because of concerns over national security.

For example, the US banned components from Huawei, the Chinese technology company, in U.S. telecom infrastructure in 2012.

Even so, they will continue to acquire technology companies as they dominate the aerospace, robotics, and AI industries.

 

Investments in EU companies

To understand more, the table below details investments in European companies and startups. It answers questions like: where has the investment come from, who did the investment go to, and how much was invested?

It is evident from the data below that the majority of investments in Europe are being poured into Central Europe.

There have been a number of high profile companies that have received investments. For example, Spotify, Aston Martin, and Daimler to name a few.

 

Aston Martin

aston martin logo white background black edges wings with green center

Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc is a British independent manufacturer of luxury sports cars and grand tours.

Location: Gaydon, United Kingdom

 

ChinaEquity Group

china equity logo white background blue text and chinese grey inscriptionIn 2012 along with co-investors including Italian private equity group Investindustrial, they invested £150 million pounds ($254.5 million), in the iconic British carmaker Aston Martin.

Location: Beijing

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National Electric Vehicle Sweden

nevs logo black text with white background

National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB is a Swedish holding company focuses on the development of electric vehicles.

Location: Trollhättan, Sweden

 

GSR Ventures

gsr ventures logo white background yellow circle and text

Chinese investment firm GSR Capital invested $500 million in Swedish electric car maker National Electric Vehicle Sweden.

Location: Beijing

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Tank und Rast

 

tank und rast logo black and light blue triangular shapes

Tank & Rast offer travelers with a comprehensive range of services along German motorways.

Location: Bonn, Germany

 

China Investment Corporation

china investment corporation logo dark blue chinese text with white background

CIC Capital completed an acquisition of a minority interest in Autobahn Tank & Rast, Germany's largest provider of petrol stations, in a joint deal with Allianz Capital Partners, Munich Re Group and other sovereign wealth funds.

Location: Beijing

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Centogene

centogene logo grey inscription with red o letter and white background

Centogene is a world leader in the field of genetic diagnostics for rare diseases dedicated to improving patients lives.

Location: Rostock, Germany

 

China Investment Corporation

china investment corporation logo dark blue chinese text with white background

CENTOGENE AG, a worldwide leader in the field of genetic diagnostics for rare diseases announced a €25 million Series A financing round. The investment was led by TVM Capital Life Science in collaboration with DPE Deutsche Private Equity, Careventures, and China Investment Corporation.

Location: Beijing

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Paradox Interactive

 

paradox interactive logo black with white background

Paradox Interactive is a Swedish video game publisher based in Stockholm that publishes games, both developed by their division, Paradox Development Studio, and those of other developers.

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

 

Tencent Holdings Limited

tencent logo blue with white background

Tencent has been allocated 5.28 million shares at an offering price of 33 Swedish crowns per share, and hold 5 percent equity interest in Paradox Interactive post-transaction. Fredrik Wester and Spiltan will continue to be key shareholders in Paradox with 33.3 % and 30.5 % shareholdings, respectively.

Location: Shenzhen

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Supercell

 

supercell logo black text

Supercell Oy is a Finnish mobile game development company based in Helsinki.

Location: Helsinki, Finland

 

Tencent Holdings Limited

tencent logo blue with white background

Tencent announced majority ownership of Supercell, the massively profitable Finnish firm behind hit game Clash Of Clans, for around $8.6 billion.

Location: Shenzhen

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Ubisoft

black draw and black inscription

Ubisoft Entertainment is a French computer and videogame developer and publisher.

Location: Montreuil, France

 

Tencent Holdings Limited

tencent logo blue with white background

Tencent will €370 million (about $455 million) for a 5 percent stake in French game developer Ubisoft.

Location:Shenzhen

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N26

n26 logo black text with white background

N26 is a German direct bank, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, that offers its services throughout most of the Eurozone and in the UK.

Location: Berlin, Germany

 

Tencent Holdings Limited

tencent logo blue with white background

N26 raised $160 million in a Series C round of funding led by Tencent and German insurer Allianz along with some of N26's existing investors.

Location: Shenzhen

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Frontier Developments

frontier developments logo white text with the sphere

Frontier Developments plc is a British video game developer based in Cambridge.

Location: Cambridge, United Kingdom

 

Tencent Holdings Limited

tencent logo blue with white background

Tencent made a strategic investment worth $23.2 million in Frontier Developments plc.

Location: Shenzhen

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1939 Games

1939 logo black start with background

1939 Games is a small game development studio based in Reykjavík, Iceland. They are focused on WWII gaming experiences.

Location: Gullbringusysla, Iceland

 

Tencent Holdings Limited

tencent logo blue with white background

1939 Games announced a $2 million investment led by Tencent, with participation from Finnish Sisu Game Ventures and Crowberry Capital.

Location: Shenzhen

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Infraspeak

 

infraspeak logo light blue background and white draw

Infraspeak provides facility management software that speeds up and simplifies the process of registering and transmission of information.

Location: Porto, Portugal

 

Tencent Holdings Limited

tencent logo blue with white background

Participants in the latest round of funding included first-minute capital, a British fund created by Atomico, Tencent and several founders of European unicorns.

Location: Shenzhen

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Spotify

 

spotify logo green

Spotify is a commercial music streaming service that provides restricted digital content from a range of record labels and artists.

Location: Stockholms Lan, Sweden

 

Tencent Holdings Limited

tencent logo blue with white background

Music streaming company Spotify and the music arm of China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd bought a minority stake in each other’s businesses.

Location: Shenzhen

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The Floow

 

the flow logo light blue with white background

The Floow Limited designs and operates telematic systems and actionable insights for insurers, auto clubs, brokers, and fleet organizations in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

Location: Sheffield, United Kingdom

 

Fosun

fosun logo blue text with white background

Fosun and United Electronics Co. invested a total of £13 million ($16.4 million) in exchange for a minority economic interest in The Floow.

Location: Liang Xinjun

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Gimatic S.r.l.

gimatic logo red dots with white background

Gimatic specializes in delivering intelligent robotic handling solutions for industrial automation applications in end markets such as automotive, packaging, healthcare, and food and beverage.

Location: Veneto, Italy

 

AGIC Capital

 

agic capital logo blue white text

AGIC Capital announced the acquisition of a large majority stake in Gimatic Srl, the leading Italy-based supplier of “EOAT” (end-of-arm tools) for industrial automation and robotic applications.

Location: Shanghai

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Daimler

 

daimler logo grey

Daimler is an automotive engineering company. The company is engaged in the development, production, and distribution of cars.

Location: Bayern, Germany

 

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group logo blue with white background

The Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. has accumulated a stake worth about €7.3 billion  ($9 billion) in Daimler AG, marking the biggest investment in a global automobile manufacturer by a Chinese company.

Location: Hangzhou, Zhejiang

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Saxo Bank

saxo bank logo dark blue and black background with white text

The company facilitates online trading and investment platforms for private and institutional clients providing access to global markets, as well as a range of asset classes and tradable instruments.

Location: 
Copenhagen, Denmark

 

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group logo blue with white background

Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group will increase its stake in Denmark’s Saxo Bank to more than 50 percent in a deal that highlights China’s drive to tap the expertise of European financial firms.

Location: Zhejiang

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Oxyrane UK 

oxyrane logo blue with white background

Oxyrane UK Limited, a biopharmaceutical company, develops novel and bio-superior enzyme replacement therapies for the treatment of lysosomal storage diseases.

Location: Manchester, United Kingdom

 

Morningside Venture Capital

Morningside Venture Capital logo

In Oxyrane's oversubscribed Series D financing round, the company raised $26.5 million. Other investors in the round include Morningside Groups and existing investor New Science Ventures.

Location: Shanghai

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Logos Network

 

logos network blue shape

The Logos Network is a next-generation crypto network that provides hyper-scalable transaction infrastructure, from micro-transactions to large scale B2B transfers.

Location: Dublin, Ireland

 

ZhenFund

zhenfund logo with white background

Logos Network raised $3 million in a seed investment round with participation from ZhenFund.

Location: Beijing

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BioBeats

 

biobeats logo purple green red circular shapes in a circle

BioBeats is an adaptive media company. It builds technologies that respond to physiologic data and learn from how you interact with them, to help people live more engaging healthier lives.

Location: England, United Kingdom

 

ZhenFund

zhenfund logo with white background

In 2013, BioBeats announced $650,000 in seed funding from actor Will Smith, music manager Scooter Braun, Zhen Fund, angel investor Gotham Chopra and more.

Location: Beijing

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Vtion Wireless Technology

vtion logo black and grey

Vtion Group is one of the three leading providers of wireless data card solutions for mobile computing over wide area networks in the People's Republic of China. Vtion Group is principally engaged in the development and sale of wireless data cards, including the provision of after-sales services.

Location: Hessen, Germany

 

Shenzhen Capital Group

 

Shenzhen Capital Group logo blue and grey

Shenzhen Capital Group Co. and China Israel Value Capital announced their joint commitment of $21 million.

Location: Guangdong

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JenaValve Technology

jenavalve logo blue circle with white background

The company was founded to develop second-generation transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) systems for transapical and transfemoral implantation.

Location: München, Bayern, Germany

 

Legend Capital

 

legend capital logo green lines with white background

JenaValve Technology raised $62.5 million in a Series C venture round in 2013. Investors include Beijing-based Legend Capital as well as Omega Funds.

Location: Beijing

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Juma Logistic

juma lofistics logo blue and green letters

Juma Logistic is a compact and all-around transport company that provides shipping and logistics solutions from the Netherlands to anywhere in the world.

Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

 

Empower Investment

empower investment logo blue and grey with white background

Juma Logistic was funded by Empower Investment in their Series A round with an undisclosed amount.

Location: Shanghai, Shanghai

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GoEuro

go euro logo dark blue with red dot and white background

GoEuro is a multi-mode search tool that compares and combines rail, air, bus, and car for European destinations.

Location: Berlin, Germany

 

Hillhouse Capital Group

 

hillhouse logo white text and line with red background

GoEuro raised $150 million in one of the largest-ever investment rounds in Germany with participation from Hillhouse Capital, a leading investment firm focused on long-term growth through innovation.

Location: Beijing

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Organica Water

organica water logo with white background

Organica Water is a global provider of innovative solutions for the treatment and recycling of wastewater. It has developed an approach that enables customers all over the world to build and operate space and energy efficient biological wastewater treatment plants.

Location: Budapest, Hungary

 

CITIC Capital Silk Road Fund

citic capital logo red and blue letters with white background

CITIC Capital Holdings led a $21 million Series D round with participation from existing investor Idinvest Partners. CITIC Capital and Idinvest Partners invested through CITIC Capital Silk Road Fund and Electranova Capital I Fund.

Location: Shanghai

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LendInvest

 

lendinvest logo black and yellow background

LendInvest is a marketplace platform for property lending and investing. It is one of the UK’s largest non-bank mortgage lenders.

Location: London, United Kingdom

 

Beijing Kunlun Tech Co

kunlun logo blue with white background

Chinese gaming billionaire Zhou Yahui invested £22 million in LendInvest. The Series A investment from his firm Beijing Kunlun Technology was intended to help the lender grow faster ahead of a planned stock market float in 2016.

Location: Beijing

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Carbon Recycling International

carbon recycling international logo light blue arrows with white background

Carbon Recycling International produce renewable methanol from carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and electricity for fuel applications, greener chemicals and products.

Location: Gullbringusysla, Iceland

 

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group logo blue with white background

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group invested a total of US $45.5 million in Carbon Recycling International (CRI). Zhejiang Geely Holding Group will become a major shareholder of CRI and will gain representation on the company's Board of Directors.

Location: Zhejiang

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Carlsson Autotechnik GMBH

carlsson logo black text and horse shape with white background

Carlsson is a German car tuning manufacturer specializing in Mercedes-Benz cars.

Location: Merzig, Germany

 

Zhongsheng Group Holdings

Zhongsheng Group logo blue and white background

Zhongsheng Group Holdings Ltd, a major Chinese auto retailer, announced its 70 percent stake in German vehicle-personalization specialist Carlsson Autotechnik GMBH. This is in an effort to meet rising demand from wealthy Chinese car owners for custom bodies and souped-up engines.

Location: Beijing

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Acarix

acarix logo blue text, heart shape

The Acarix provides a modern tool for early and accurate CAD rule-out offers. Its products are very sensitive and non-invasive and offer instantaneous results. The full procedure can be done in less than 10 minutes including patient preparation.

Location: Kongens Lyngby, Denmark


 

PIA Automation

pia automation logo white background

PIA Automation offers technically complex and economically efficient solutions in automation. PIA develops and manufactures customized assembly, measurement, and testing systems for the automotive industry and more.

Location: Bad Neustadt, Germany

 

Ningbo Joyson Electronic

joyson electronics logoblue shape and chinese charapters

Ningbo Joyson Electronic transferred all shares in Preh IMA Automation GmbH, from Preh GmbH, one of Ningbo Joyson Electronic’s subsidiaries and the current owner of the shares, to PIA Automation Holding GmbH at a transfer price which was expected to exceed €130 million.

Location: Ningbo

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Oxford Cancer Biomarkers

oxford cancer biomarkers logo blue text and little circles

Oxford Cancer Biomarkers translates ground-breaking scientific discovery into predictive biomarker diagnostic products that allow medicines to be personalized for the benefit of the cancer patient.

Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

 

Ningbo My-BioMed Biotechnology

Ningbo My-BioMed Biotechnology logo black and red with white background

Oxford Cancer Biomarkers Ltd (OCB) announced a strategic collaboration with My-BioMed Biotechnology Co. Ltd.

Location: Ningbo

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Green Biologics 

green biologics logo blue and green text, blue circle with green lines

Green Biologics produces bio-based renewable chemicals used in a wide range of consumer and industrial applications. Green Biologics has a US office in Ohio, where it maintains laboratories and pilot facilities. Green Biologics had closed five previous funding rounds.

Location: Abingdon, United Kingdom

 

Morningside Venture Capital

morningside venture capital logo

Transactions worth £1.58 million in 2007, £1.02 million in 2009 and £5 million in 2010 saw backers such as Oxford Capital Partners, Morningside, and Capricorn Venture Partners.

Location: Shanghai

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Plastic Logic Germany

Plastic Logic Germany logo blue text with white background

Plastic Logic Germany develops and manufactures flexible plastic displays for third-party end-devices.

Location: Dresden, Germany

 

Morningside Venture Capital

morningside venture capital logo

Plastic Logic raised more than $200 million in funding from investors including Oak Investment Partners, Intel Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners, Morningside Group and Tudor Investments.

Location: Shanghai

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Next Games

 

next games logo blue and red with n white letter

Next Games is focused on crafting visually impressive, highly engaging games.

Location: Southern Finland, Finland

 

IDG Capital

idg capital logo red and grey text with white background

The Finnish games company Next Games has successfully completed its first external investment round raising $6 million in financing from an elite list of institutional, strategic and private investors. Including IDG Capital.

Location: Beijing

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iMedia Comunicazione

imedia comunicazione blue letter, pink letter black text

iMedia Comunicazione is a wireless media placement agency in Milan.

Location: Milan, Italy

 

IDG Capital 

idg capital logo red and grey text with white background

Location: Beijing

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HiFiBiO

hifibio logo dark blue and light blue text

HiFiBiO commercializes proprietary single cell technologies for applications in drug and biomarker discovery and development.

Location: Paris, France

 

Sequoia Capital China

sequoia capital logo green shape, grey text, chinese chapters

HiFiBiO Therapeutics announced the completion of a $37.5 million Series B financing round led by Sequoia Capital China.

Location: Beijing

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Plain Vanilla

Plain Vanilla logo white text circle

Plain Vanilla is an Icelandic Game Studio. It is now developing the first real-time multiplayer quiz platform for mobile devices.

Location: Reykjavík, Iceland

 

Tencent Holdings Limited

tencent logo blue with white background

A funding round led by Sequoia Capital and Tencent brought the total investment of the company to $27 million.

Location: Shenzhen

Read more


 

Mr&Mrs Italy

 

Mr&Mrs Italy logo black and white

Mr & Mrs Italy interprets iconic garments with Italian flair, creating unique, high-end items cherished worldwide.

Location: Rimini, Italy

 

Hony Capital

hony capital logo blue circle and chinese characters

Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital said on Tuesday it has agreed to buy a third of fashion brand Mr & Mrs Italy’s owner Duemmei, marking its first investment in the luxury industry amid a recovery in the sector.

Location: Beijing

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Emodel

emodels logo green and black text with white background

Emodels is a large hobby store stocking radio-controlled and die-cast vehicles, model kits, and toy soldiers.

Location: Staffordshire, United Kingdom

 

Plug and Play China

plug and play china logo blue and green with grey text white background

Location: Beijing


 

Taxify

taxify logo black text and yellow circle

Taxify developed a platform that connects people with cars, motorcycles, scooter sharing, and more.
By bringing reliable on-demand transport to the masses, they are helping cities evolve towards decreased traffic congestion and pollution.

Location: Tallinn, Estonia

 

Didi Chuxing

didi logo orange shape and black chinese characters

Given its extensive interest in mobility, it makes sense that DiDi Global is backing Taxify, which emerged as the main contender battling Uber in Europe and Africa, while it has also forayed into Australia, too. This is the first major fundraising for Taxify, which raised €2 million ($2.4 million) prior to Didi’s undisclosed investment last year.

Location: Beijing

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eToro

etoro logo green text with white background

eToro is a social trading and multi-asset brokerage company that has created a world’s leading social trading network, with millions of registered users providing them innovative trading and investment tools.

Location: Bney B'rak, Israel

 

Ping An

pingan logo orange text and chinese charapters

The retail forex broker eToro has successfully raised $27 million from units of China’s Ping An and Russia’s Sberbank. Industry sources tell LeapRate that the financing was done at a valuation well north of $100 million.

Location: Shenzhen

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10xbanking

 

10x banking logo number 10 white with x and purple background

10x transforms the way financial services providers operate via its digital banking platform. It offers banking process automation, compliance reporting, security and analytics.

Location: London, United Kingdom

 

Ping An

pingan logo orange text and chinese charapters

Ping An Insurance announced that Ping An Global Voyager Fund, a subsidiary of Ping An, became the largest 3rd party shareholder in 10x Future Technologies, a European fintech company founded by former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins that provides holistic technology solutions to banks.

Location: Shenzhen

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WayRay

wayray logo red triangles

WayRay creates cutting-edge augmented reality technologies for the automotive industry. It offers unique consumer electronics products.

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

 

Alibaba Group Holding Limited

alibaba logo orange inscription and smile face

After launching its first car last year, Alibaba is digging deeper into the automobile industry. The Chinese Internet and e-commerce behemoth is the lead investor in smart car tech developer WayRay’s $18 million Series B round, the startup announced.

Location: Hangzhou

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Lilium

lilium logo black with white background

Lilium is a proposed vertical take-off and landing electrically powered light sport aircraft. It provides a set of fully redundant computers are flying the airplane and controlling all functions of the engines and actuators at all times.

Location: Weßling, Germany

 

Tencent Holdings Limited

tencent logo blue with white background

Lilium Aviation announced on Tuesday that it has raised $90 million in a new round of financing. The investment was led by Tencent Holdings, the Chinese internet giant.

Location: Shenzhen

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MariaDB

 

maria db logo black shape and text

MariaDB provides the most functionally complete open source database.

Location: Espoo, Finland

 

Alibaba Group Holding Limited

alibaba logo orange inscription and smile face

Open source database startup MariaDB has announced a new $27 million round of funding led by Alibaba, Alibaba contributed the majority of the round, supplying €20 million of the total €22.9 million raised.

Location: Hangzhou

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Maló Clinic

malo clinic logo grey text with blue line

MALO CLINIC is the world’s leader in Implantology and Dental Cosmetic as well as an Educational Centre on Oral Rehabilitation.

Location: Leiria, Portugal

 

V Star Capital

 

v star capital logo white with blue background

Maló Clinic has raised a total of CN¥230M in funding over 2 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Sep 21, 2018, from a Series D round. V Star Capital is the lead investor.

Location: Shanghai

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Japet Medical Devices

 

japet logo black j in circle with white background

Japet Medical Devices is a Medical Robotics Company which aims at improving healthcare through innovative solutions.

Location: Loos, Hauts-de-France

 

HAX

hax logo green with white background

Location: Shenzhen, Guangdong


 

Yoyo Wallet

yoyo wallet logo pink with white background

Yoyo mission provides an easy and user-friendly payment platform, taking the transaction and turning it into a delightful, rewarding experience for shoppers and an insightful and meaningful engagement channel for retailers.

Location: London, United Kingdom

 

Chinaccelerator

chinaccelerator logo red with white background

Yoyo Wallet includes a list of financial backers like UK-based Woodford Investment Management and Touchstone Innovations, and Shanghai-based Chinaccelerator.

Location: Shanghai

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AYLIEN

aylien logo green with white background

AYLIEN is an AI, NLP & Machine Learning startup which provides Text Analysis & News API's that allow users to make sense of human-generated content at scale. They provide a range of content analysis solutions to businesses, developers, data scientists, marketers, and academics.

Location: Dublin, Ireland

 

Chinaccelerator

chinaccelerator logo red with white background

The AI and Machine Learning company received an investment of €2M in 2017 from Chinaccelerator.

Location: Shanghai

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B2 Holding ASA

B2Kapital logo

B2 Holding provides debt solutions for banks and institutional vendors. It has established itself as one of the leading players in the markets where the Group operates.

Location: Oslo, Norway

 

Chinaccelerator

chinaccelerator logo red with white background

Location: Shanghai


 

Made To Fit Me

 

woman and made to fit me logo

Made To Fit Me is a clothing market platform aimed to provide women with more choice and a better fit as in-store only comes in a few standard sizes.

Location: England, United Kingdom

 

Chinaccelerator

chinaccelerator logo red with white background

Location: Shanghai

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Asyncode Limited

 

asyncode logo white text with black background

Asyncode developed software which allows you to build software quickly and easily.

Location: Cork, Ireland

 

Chinaccelerator

chinaccelerator logo red with white background

Location: Shanghai


 

Buz

buz logo white text with black contour white background

They provide digital products combined with emotion and produced with excellence.

Location: Dublin, Ireland

 

Chinaccelerator

chinaccelerator logo red with white background

Location: Shanghai


 

Hookipa Biotech AG

hookipa pharma logo red text blue wave shapes with white background

Hookipa is a clinical stage biotech company developing best-in-class active immunization therapies for infectious diseases and oncology.

Location: Vienna, Austria

 

Hillhouse Capital Group

 

hillhouse logo white text and line with red background

Hookipa Biotech AG raised $59.6 million (€50.0 million) in an oversubscribed Series C financing with participation from Hillhouse Capital.

Location: Changyang

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Saltside Technologies

saltside logo orange with black text white background

They developed an online marketplace in underserved markets, creating sustainable value for the community. They help people buy and sell online, in countries a bit off the beaten track.

Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

 

Hillhouse Capital Group

 

hillhouse logo white text and line with red background

Saltside Technologies secured a $40 million investment led by Hillhouse Capital.

Location: Beijing

Read more


 

Keenon

 

KeenOn is a full-service fashion agency. It offers a full spectrum of services.

Location: Hamburg, Germany

 

Yunqi Partners

yunqi logo blue text and blue chinese characters

Location: Shanghai


 

MoonX

moonx logo green with white background

MoonX is a platform of the future for trading crypto assets that is decentralized and co-owned by the entire MoonX Family.

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

 

IDG Capital and Node Capital

idg red text logo          node capital orange logo

MoonX has been backed by BCH Angel Fund, and funded by IDG, BITMAIN, and Fission Capital (backed by Shenobo of Fenbushi). Other investors include NGC (Neo Global Capital), Node Capital, DHVC, Pre Angel, Linear VC, Du Capital, and 20 more.

Location: Beijing

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NAGA Group AG

naga logo red pepper shape with black text white background

NAGA’s products aim to simplify the access to acquire, store, trade and invest in financial markets, crypto-currencies and virtual goods.

Location: Hamburg, Germany

 

Liang Xinjun

fosun logo blue text with white background

FOSUN Group was founded in 1992 in Shanghai and Fosun International Limited went public in July 2007 at Mainboard of the Hong Kong stock exchange. Today, the FOSUN Group is one of the leading investment groups of Chinese origin and with local presences worldwide. The company is active in Europe inter alia through its majority stakes in Club Med and Hauck & Aufhäuser Privatbankiers.

Location: Liang Xinjun

Read more


 

aiCTX

aiCTX logo brain shape with blue text white background

aiCTX builds mixed-signal neuromorphic processors which provide unprecedented ultra-low power consumption and low-latency performance.

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

 

PreAngel

preangel logo black and blue text with wing in the middle white background

Location: Beijing


 

Mrs Wordsmith

 

mrs wordsmith logo black shape with white background

Mrs Wordsmith aims to illustrate the English language. Thanks to its products, kids can enter in touch more easily with the language.

Location: London, United Kingdom

 

Trustbridge Partners

trustbridge partners logo blue text with white background

Mrs Wordsmith raised $11 million in a Series A funding round to support expansion in the U.S. and China markets. Funding was led by Trustbridge Partners and includes returning investors Reach Capital and Kindred Venture Capital.

Location: Shanghai

Read more


 

ZifiSense

zifisense logo blue circle with white dots

ZifiSense is a telecommunications company.

Location: Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

 

Fortune Venture Capital and Plug and Play China

fortune capital logo red           plug and play china logo blue and green with grey text white background

Location: Guangdong


 

Juzi Entertainment

 

juzi entertainment logo white text with red background

Juzi Entertainment is a new media content producer.

Location: Tirol, Austria

 

China Growth Capital and Ventech

china growth capital text with red word          ventech v letter logo

China Growth Capital has led a $10 million Series B round in Juzi Entertainment with participation from Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd.
Launched in December 2014, Juzi Entertainment previously received $15 million series B investment from Ventech China, Zhen Fund and Matrix Partners.

Location: Beijing

Read more


 

SteelSeries

 

steelseries logo black with white background

SteelSeries is a Danish maker of gaming peripherals and accessories, including headsets, keyboards, mice, gaming surfaces and software.

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

 

ClearVue Partners

clearvue logo blue text

ClearVue Partners will support SteelSeries to strengthen its branding, product design, partnership establishment and channel development consolidate its position as the leader in professional gaming peripheral sector in China and globally.

Location: Shanghai

Read more


 

Trendyol

trendyol logo black text with orange tag

Trendyol is a mobile commerce company. Its mission is to provide customers with the best shopping experience driven by technology.

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

 

Alibaba Group Holding Limited

alibaba logo orange inscription and smile face

In June 2018, Alibaba Group entered into an agreement where they will invest in Trendyol and acquire shares from existing investors, representing a controlling equity interest for a cash consideration of $728 million.

Location: Hangzhou

Read more


 

Farfetch

farfetch black text logo

Farfetch is an online luxury fashion retail platform. It sells products from over 700 boutiques and brands from around the world.

Location: London, United Kingdom

 

IDG Capital

idg capital logo red and grey text with white background

Farfetch announced it has completed a $110 million Series F round of investment. The round was led by new investors Temasek, IDG Capital Partners and Eurazeo with existing investor Vitruvian Partners also participating in the round.

Location: Beijing

Read more

Where are these companies located?

 

Acquisitions of EU startups and companies

Investments are just one receiver of the buckets of money directed towards Europe. Below is a list of some of the highest acquisitions of startups and corporations to date.

The table provides key information on who acquired the company and for how much.

 

Syngenta AG

syngenta blue text, green leaf logo

Syngenta is a leading agriculture company helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources.

Location: Basel, Switzerland

 

ChemChina

chemchina logo blue red letter and black text

Acquisition amount: $46.3B

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

Rio Tinto PLC

 

riotinto logo white text red with white background

Rio Tinto Group is an Anglo-Australian multinational, based in London, and one of the world's largest metals and mining corporations.

Location: London, United Kingdom

 

Aluminum Corp of China

 

chinalco logo l letter white with blue triangle shape

Acquisition amount: $14.1B

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

Logicor

logicor logo dark blue text with white background

Logicor Europe Ltd., a real estate company, engages in the acquisition, operation, and leasing of a portfolio of logistics and distribution facilities in Europe.

Location: London, United Kingdom

 

China Investment Corporation

china investment corporation logo dark blue chinese text with white background

Acquisition amount: $13.8B

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

Supercell

 

supercell logo black text

Supercell is a video game development company for tablets and smartphones.

Location: Helsinki, Finland

 

Tencent Holdings Limited

tencent logo blue with white background

Acquisition amount: $8.6B

Location: Shenzhen, China

Read more


 

Pirelli

pirelli logo red text with white background

Pirelli & C. S.p.A. is a multinational company based in Milan, Italy, focused on the consumer business-tires for cars, motorcycles and bicycles.

Location: Milan, Italy

 

ChemChina

chemchina logo blue red letter and black text

Acquisition amount: $7.7B

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

Kuka

kuka logo orange text with white background

KUKA is an international company responsible for the manufacturing of industrial robots and solutions for factory automation

Location: Augsburg, Germany

 

Midea

midea logo blue text with white background

Acquisition amount: $5B

Location: Foshan, China

Read more


 

Eni S.p.A.

 

eni logo black and yellow

Eni S.p.A. is an Italian multinational oil and gas company engaging in oil and gas, electricity generation and sale, and petrochemicals businesses.

Location: Rome, Italy

 

China National Petroleum Corp

 

cnpc logo orange red and white with black text

Acquisition amount: $4.21B

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

Energias de Portugal

edp logo white text shades of red circles

EDP Energias de Portugal SA is a Portugal-based global energy company and a leader in the utilities.

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

 

China Three Gorges

ctg logo blue circle and white with black text

Acquisition amount: $3.5B

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

Engie

engie logo light blue shape and text

Engie is a global energy leader and operates in the fields of electricity generation and distribution, natural gas, nuclear and renewable energy.

Location: La Défense, France

 

China Investment Corporation

china investment corporation logo dark blue chinese text with white background

Acquisition amount: $3.3B

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

Fortis

fortis logo green square with white birds shape black text and red line

BNP Paribas Fortis is an international bank based in Belgium and is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas

Location: Brussels, Belgium

 

Ping An Insurance

pingan orange text and chinese character logo

Acquisition amount: $3.1B

Location: Shenzhen, China

Read More


 

Linxens

linxens logo green shape with black text

Linxens is a global leader in the design and manufacture of micro-connectors for smart cards.

Location: Levallois-Perret, France

 

Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd

Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd logo purple

Acquisition amount: $2.6B

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

Awilco Drilling PLC

awilco drilling logo black text with red and blue flag

Awilco Drilling PLC is a North Sea Drilling Contractor, based in UK, owning and operating the two refurbished and enhanced UK compliant 3rd generation mid-water.

Location: London, United Kingdom

 

China Oilfield Services Limited

cosl blue letters, red letter, black text logo

Acquisition amount: $2.5B

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

DH Services Luxembourg Holding S.à.r.l

dematic logo orange line and black text with white background

Dematic is a leading global supplier of advanced integrated supply chain automation technology, software and services.

Location: Luxembourg, Luxembourg

 

Weichai Power Co., Ltd

 

weichai power logo red circles and lines with blue text

Acquisition amount: $2.1B

Location: Weifang, China

Read more


 

Elkem

elkem red shapes, black text logo

Elkem ASA is one of the world's leading suppliers of environmentally responsible silicon-based advanced materials with operations throughout the entire value chain from quartz to specialty silicones, and attractive market positions in specialty ferrosilicon, foundry alloys and carbon materials.

Location: Oslo, Norway

 

China National BlueStar

blue star logo black star with red and blue letters

Acquisition amount: $2B

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

Weetabix

weetabix blue text, brown shape logo

Weetabix is a food processing company that is responsible for the production of breakfast cereal brands, including Weetabix, Alpen, and Ready Brek.

Location: Burton Latimer, United Kingdom

 

Bright Food Group

bright food logo red and blue

Acquisition amount: $1.94B

Location: Shanghai, China

Read more


 

BCP Meerwind Luxembourg

bcp meerwind blue and light blue text logo

BCP Meerwind Luxembourg S.à.r.l., through its subsidiary, owns and operates offshore wind power project.

Location: Luxembourg, Luxembourg

 

China Three Gorges

ctg logo blue circle and white with black text

Acquisition amount: $1.8B

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

Volvo

volvo logo grey circle and arrow

Volvo Cars, is a Swedish luxury vehicles company. The company manufactures and markets sport utility vehicles, station wagons, sedans and compact executive sedans.

Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

 

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group logo blue with white background

Acquisition amount: $1.8B

Location: Hangzhou, China

Read more


 

Banque Internationale a Luxembourg

bil logo purple

Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL), a leading Luxembourg universal bank. Since its creation, it has played an active role in the development of the Luxembourg economy and now operates retail banking, private banking, corporate banking and financial markets.

Location: Luxembourg, Luxembourg

 

Legend Holdings

legend holdings logo dark blue text

Acquisition amount: $1.76B

Location: Beijing, China

Read More


 

Borsod Chem

borsod chem logo blue and grey

BorsodChem is a leading European producer of MDI, TDI and PVC resins as well as base and specialty chemicals.

Location: Kazincbarcika, Hungary

 

Wanhua Industrial Group

 

wanhua blue text and shape

Acquisition amount: $1.66B

Location: Yantai, China

Read more


 

Sunseeker

sunseeker logo grey with leaves

Superyacht builder Sunseeker Yachts builds composite luxury yachts from 12.9 to 47.24 meters in Poole, UK.

Location: Poole, United Kingdom

 

Dalian Wanda Group

dalian wanda group logo blue text and shape

Acquisition amount: $1.6B

Location: Beijing, China

Read More


 

EEW Energy from Waste

eew logo black text with orange shape

EEW Energy from Waste is the market leading energy-from-waste Company in Germany with activities in Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Location: Helmstedt, Germany

 

Beijing Enterprises Holdings

Beijing Enterprises Holdings logo blue and white shape with black text

Acquisition amount: $1.6B

Location: Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Read more


 

Repsol Sinopec Resources UK Limited

repsol sinopec logoblack text, red and orange shapes

Repsol Sinopec Resources UK is an oil and gas exploration and production company operating in the North Sea.

Location: Aberdeen, United Kingdom

 

China Sinopec

 

china sinopec logo black with red circle

Acquisition amount: $1.5B

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

Urbaser

 

urbaser logo green, grey and blue shapes, blue text

Urbaser, with is a global presence, is a leader in waste management and treatment and as such, develops design and financing activities, in addition to the construction, commissioning.

Location: Malmo, Sweden

 

China Tianying Inc.

china tianying logo green

Acquisition amount: $1.33B

Location: Shanghai

Read more


 

Opera

opera logo red o circle and black text

Opera is a web browser for Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems developed by Norwegian company Opera Software AS.

Location: Oslo, Norway

 

Kunlun

kunlun logo blue with white background

Acquisition amount: $1.2B

Location: Beijing

Read More


 

InterGen

intergen logo blue and white shape with black text

InterGen Services, Inc. operates as a power generation and development company in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. The company operates power plants, natural gas compression stations, a gas pipeline, and a wind farm.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

 

China Huaneng Group

china huaneng group logo blue shape and black text

Acquisition amount: $1.2B

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

Punch Powertrain

punch powertrain logo blue shapes and text

Punch Powertrain designs and manufactures powertrain solutions for vehicle manufacturers.

Location: Sint-Truiden, Belgium

 

Yinyi Group

Yinyi Group logo red shape with black text

Acquisition amount: $1.1B

Location: District Ningbo

Read more


 

INEOS Group

ineos logo blue with yellow text

INEOS Group Holdings S.A. manufactures and sells petrochemicals, specialty chemicals, and oil products worldwide.

Location: London, United Kingdom

 

PetroChina Company Limited

 

petrochina logo red and orange shapes, black text

Acquisition amount: $1.15B

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

KraussMaffei Group

kraussmaffei logo light blue text

KraussMaffei Group GmbH is a manufacturer of injection molding machines, machines for plastics extrusion technology, and reaction process machinery.

Location: Munich, Germany

 

ChemChina

chemchina logo blue red letter and black text

Acquisition amount: $1B

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

Apax Partners

apax partners logo black text

Apax Partners, L.P. operates as a private equity firm. The Company focuses on consumer, healthcare, services and technology sectors.

Location: London, United Kingdom

 

China Investment Corporation

china investment corporation logo dark blue chinese text with white background

Acquisition amount: $956M

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

Nordic Cinema Group

 

nordic cinema group logo black background with white text

Nordic Cinema Group AB owns and operates cinema theaters in the Nordic and Baltic countries. It operates various cinema theaters and screens in major and mid-sized cities.

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

 

AMC Theatres

AMC Theatres logo red circle with white text

Acquisition amount: $930M

Location: USA

Read More


 

KION Group

kion logo black and red text

The KION Group is a global leader in industrial trucks, related services and supply chain solutions.

Location: Frankfurt, Germany

 

Weichai Power Co., Ltd

 

weichai power logo

Acquisition amount: $922M

Location: Weifang, China

Read more


 

Medion AG

medion logo dark blue text

Medion AG sells entertainment electronics and information technology products in Europe. It also provides various services in the areas of telecommunications, photo services, downloads, and other online services.

Location: Essen, Germany

 

Lenovo Group Ltd

lenovo logo blue text

Acquisition amount: $900M

Location: Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

Read more


 

Emerald Energy

emerald energy green and blue logo

UK-based Emerald Energy PLC is a company engaged in oil and gas exploration in the Middle East and South America.

Location: London, United Kingdom

 

Sinochem Group

sinochem logo blue shapes and text

Acquisition amount: $878M

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

UPP Group Holdings

upp logo blue

UPP Group Holdings Limited, with its subsidiaries, engages in designing, financing, and operating university campus infrastructure. The company develops, funds, and operates student accommodation and campus infrastructure schemes.

Location: London, United Kingdom

 

Gingko Tree Investment Ltd

gingko capital logo green plant pot, black and green text

Acquisition amount: $869M

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

Kalahari Minerals

 

Kalahari Minerals plc engages in the exploration and development of minerals in Namibia. The company primarily explores for uranium, gold, and copper, as well as lead, zinc, and other base metal deposits.

Location: Manchester, United Kingdom

 

China General Nuclear Power Group

cgn logo dark blue text and orange shape

Acquisition amount: $832M

Location: Shenzhen, China

Read more


 

Robert Bosch GmbH

bosch logo red text, grey shape and black text

Robert Bosch GmbH provides innovative products and services for industry and trades. The Company offers auto spare parts, home appliances and more.

Location: Stuttgart, Germany

 

Zhengzhou Coal Mining Machinery

zmj logo blue text and blue shape

Acquisition amount: $630M

Location: Zhengzhou, China.

Read more


 

Ledvance

ledvance logo orange circle and text

LEDVANCE is one of the World‘s leaders in general lighting for lighting professionals as well as end users, offering a broad variety of LED luminaires, advanced LED lamps, intelligent and networked Smart Home & Smart Building solutions as well as traditional light sources.

Location: Garching bei München, Germany

 

MLS Co. Ltd.

mls logo blue green and white shapes with blue text

Acquisition amount: $529M

Location: Zhongshan, China

Read more


 

Adisseo

adisseo logo red

Adisseo France SAS produces animal nutrition products.

Location: Antony, France

 

China National BlueStar

bluestar logo chinese text

Acquisition amount: $463M

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

DoubleTree

double tree logo tree and text

DoubleTree by Hilton is an American hotel chain and a part of Hilton Worldwide. Most DoubleTree hotels are independently owned and operated by franchisees, but some are managed by Hilton Worldwide.

Location: McLean, VA

 

Anbang Group

anbang logo red and black text

Acquisition amount: $392M

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

Putzmeister Holding GmbH

 

putzmeister yellow with black text

Putzmeister Holding GmbH develops, manufactures, and sells machines in the fields of construction, mining and tunnel construction, industrial projects, power stations, sewage treatment plants and waste incinerators, and precast industry worldwide.

Location: Aichtal, Germany

 

Sany Heavy Industry

sany logo red shape and text

Acquisition amount: $360M

Location: Huilongguan, Beijing, China

Read more


 

Piraeus Port Authority

piraeus logo light blue and blue text

Piraeus Port Authority S.A. provides port services at the port of Piraeus, Greece. It operates through Container Terminal, Handling Car, Coasting, Ship Repairing, Cruise, and Other segments.

Location: Piraeus, Greek

 

COSCO Shipping

cosco logo blue text and circles

Acquisition amount: $313M

Location: Shanghai, China

Read more


 

Delta Lloyd Bank

delta lloyd logo blue text

Delta Lloyd Bank NV is a member of Delta Lloyd Group, a financial group offering insurance and banking products to individuals and business customers.

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

Anbang Group

anbang group logo

Acquisition amount: $273M

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

Carcoustics International GmbH

carcoustics logo blue and grey circles

Carcoustics International GmbH develops and manufactures acoustic and thermally-effective components and solutions for the automotive industry and other industrial sectors.

Location: Leverkusen, Germany

 

Fuxin Dare Group

fzb logo blue

Acquisition amount: $234M

Location: Fuxin, China

Read more


 

Romaco Group

romaco logo blue text

Romaco Group is a leading global manufacturer of packing and process technology.

Location: Karlsruhe, BW

 

Truking Technology Ltd.

truking logo blue and light blue shapes and characteres

Acquisition amount: $164M

Location: Changsha, China

Read more


 

COMPO GmbH

compo logo red yellow and green

COMPO GmbH manufactures biological/chemical brand products for home and garden needs.

Location: Münster, Germany

 

Kingenta Ecological Engineering Group

kingenta logo red yellow shapes and black text

Acquisition amount: $116M

Read more


 

Voss Water

voss water logo black text

Voss is a Norwegian-based brand of bottled water.

Location: New York City, United States

 

Reignwood Group

reignwood logo trees shape and grey text

Acquisition amount: $105M

Location: Beijing, China

Read more


 

e-Traction

e-traction logo red shape and black text

e-Traction develops electric powertrain components and systems for electric passenger and commercial vehicles.

Location: Apeldoorn, Netherlands

 

Tanhas group

tanhas logo black

Acquisition amount: $61M

Location: Tianjin, China

Read more


 

Buccellati

buccellati logo black text

Buccellati Holding Italia is a Chinese-owned Italian jewellery and watch company.

Location: Milan, Italy

 

Gangtai Group

gangtai logo green shape and black text

Acquisition amount: 85%

Location: Shanghai, China

Read more


 

Ferretti

ferretti logo grey

The Ferretti Group provides designs, constructions and safety tools for luxury yachts and pleasure vessels.

Location: Forlì, Italy

 

Shandong Heavy Industry Group

Shandong Heavy Industry Group logo black text

Acquisition amount: 75%

Location: Jinan, China

Read more


 

Linde Hydraulics

 

linde hydraulics logo white text with red background

Linde Hydraulics is a manufacturer of heavy-duty drive systems consisting of hydraulics, power transmissions, and electronics.

Location: Aschaffenburg, Germany

 

Weichai Power Co., Ltd

 

weichai power logo

Acquisition amount: 70%

Location: Weifang, China

Read more

 

Where are these companies located?

 

 

Taking a closer look - country and industry breakdown

The tables above provide a general overview of the companies that have been invested in, but why are they investing in these industries and countries? For one, they are not focusing on industries with equal intensity.

The main sectors of focus are centered around advanced technology in Europe helping China on their path to becoming a modernized nation.

They are taking these steps to cement their place as the global innovation and digitization leader.

But they still rely heavily on knowledge from European countries, which is speculated to be one of the reasons why they are investing so heavily. There are still factors holding them back from becoming a dominant player in the high-tech industry.

For one, the US has placed firm and specific rules on components that are vital to the emerging technologies that China is trying to create, for example, sensors, and advanced semiconductors. And it is holding them back from innovating.

It is evident that FDI from China is widespread. While it is focused on central Europe, especially the UK, FDI is widespread in Europe and globally.

More important are the specific sectors that are attracting the most Chinese FDI.

Chinese FDI in the EU per country group graph Chinese FDI in the EU per country group

 

From year to year it fluctuates quite rapidly, but as of 2017, the most invested in the sector was transport, utilities, and infrastructure (15.3), dwarfing investments like ICT (4.9), real estate and hospitality (2.9).

The increase in investment in infrastructure comes as China works to build a trade route connecting China with the Balkans and central Europe (more on that below).

[Related Article - The 50 Best Startup Cities in 2021]

 

The Balkans and Eastern Europe

The Balkans are still suffering from the aftermath of the Balkan wars, and it has resulted in the poorest nations of Europe.

So why on earth would China be investing when nobody else dares?

The 2013 Belt and Road Initiative involving over 60 developing countries.

This initiative is pouring in money as they are creating two trade routes in and out of Europe. One is a Maritime Silk Road connecting central Europe with the Balkan states and China. The second, the Silk Road Economic Belt, connects Central and Eastern Europe with the Middle East and China.

Other investments in Eastern Europe include slight interest in the automotive industry in Bulgaria, as well as FDI in the chemical and technology sectors in Hungary.

And as recently as 2017, an updated high-speed rail project between Belgrade and Budapest was funded by China for €3.2 billion.

A graphic illustrating the Maritime & Silk road as part of the Silk Road initiative A graphic illustrating the Maritime & Silk road as part of the Silk Road initiative | Photo from Asia Insurance Review

 

Southern Europe

China has participated in the privatization of companies both during and after the euro-zone crisis. They are creating infrastructure, as with the eastern Balkan states and have purchased companies related to energy.

The South has also been a part of the Silk Road initiative with the purchase of a large harbor in Greece. The Greek harbor - the Port of Piraeus - is considered the main point of entry to Europe for China, and China purchased a majority stake in the strategic location in 2016.

Consumer goods have also been a point of focus with the purchasing of Italian and Greek clothing companies as China seeks to have a foothold in the international market.

Given the dominance of China in e-commerce, they have the potential to become strong players with the likes of Huawei and Alibaba.

 

Central Europe

The developed countries of western Europe receive the highest amount of FDI in Europe. Below provides a breakdown of these investments per industry.

Chinese FDI in the EU by industry graph Chinese FDI in the EU by industry

 

Financial services

Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, and the UK are the main recipients. Financial services are the largest receiver of investment from China coming from large banks and financial service firms. There are three reasons for this:

  1. Investors are attracted to the perceived low valuations of overseas assets

  2. It is a chance to diversify the overseas portfolio

  3. Oversea capital will hedge domestic risks

The international conglomerate and investment company Fosun made up the majority ODI. But investments in financial services are expected to cool down. Although private sector investment into fintech will see a rise.

Healthcare

Financial services along with healthcare receive the most attention from China. The FDI primarily consists of M&A’s to boost domestic competitiveness.

There is a specific focus on German medical devices and technology, and pharmaceutical companies. This could be attributed to two reasons.

One - the aging population of China, and two - the preference for Western branded products as they are perceived to be safer.

Automotives

60% of ODI in automotive technology investment goes to Europe. In Germany, the largest investment goes towards automotive technology acquisitions. These strategic acquisitions are hoped to increase demand in the supply chain.

 

Conclusion

Chinese investment in Europe is continuing to play an important role in the development of China as a dominative player. They are becoming more modernized as an innovation-driven economy.

Discover investment candidates

But there are still some points of contention that could threaten the relationship between Europe and China. In 1979, China opened the door to inward investment. And as time has passed the capital control over investment in sensitive industries has waned, but still remains in some areas.

Enterprises in Europe are now attempting to take advantage of Chinese FDI, hoping to encourage Chinese investment at startups in the earlier stages of development. Organizations such as the Nordic-China Startup Forum hope to achieve a more collaborative relationship between startups and investors.

Critics, however, are concerned over the transparency of deals, and they continue to push for more transparency and screening of deals.

Tables created by: Giulia Di Caprio
Research by: Qingyu (Summer) Zeng

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