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Chinese outbound investment targeting know-how

Staff Writer |
Chinese companies have shifted the focus of their overseas acquisitions away from natural resources toward innovative technology and robotics, according to a report from a London-based law firm.

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The annual M&A Trends report by the Clifford Chance firm found German industrials were a major target for acquisition in 2016.

The report noted Chinese private and State-owned enterprises were increasingly interested in technology companies to gain commercial and technical know-how.

Neeraj Budhwani, a Clifford Chance partner in Hong Kong, said: "China's appetite for offshore assets remains voracious, but we're seeing a shift of focus. Technology companies are actively seeking out opportunities in the fintech sector, with a view to bringing more innovative technology back to the country."

But the report warned of growing concerns in Germany that the acquisitions will affect Germany's industrial sector, and about the security of industrial and corporate data.

Meanwhile, the report found Chinese outbound mergers and acquisitions rose 114 percent globally in 2016 in comparison with the previous year.

Chinese bidders spent $208.6 billion last year. The report noted Chinese investment into Europe was up 201 percent, and in North America, it rose by 412 percent.

Terence Foo, an M&A partner based in Beijing, added: "Despite the introduction of restrictions on capital outflows in China, we are helping Chinese buyers explore more innovative funding structures."

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