Better Than Their Reputation

April 2020

Many people in the west are concerned about the number of businesses being taken over by Chinese buyers. But a team of researchers from the network “Econopol Europe,” led by the head of Germany’s prestigious Ifo Institute, suggests that such fears may be misplaced.

The study, which examined 70,000 international acquisitions involving 92 countries, found no evidence for the stereotype that state-subsidized buyers from China systematically try to undercut the competition.

The researchers did note that Chinese investors focused on larger businesses that had relatively high debts and low profits. Firms taken over by Chinese buyers were seven times as big as the average.

The study also noted that Chinese buyers tended to invest further money and pay higher wages after takeovers.

The project of the Chinese battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL) at the “Erfurter Kreuz” industrial park in Thuringia is set to become the largest investment project by foreign investors in the history of the region © LEG Thüringen/Thomas Abé