Evidence that China is much more than just the factory of the world, producing other people’s goods for them:
“The indelible stamp of “Made in China” has made an impressive mark on world trade, but this country’s ambitions are proving to be much higher.
No longer content to be known for their cut-price efficiency in stuffing Disney toys, Chinese companies now want to own high-end global brands and be at the forefront of major technological projects.
Europe’s markets are mature, full of established brands but ripe with investment opportunities and in the UK in particular, Chinese companies have been fast to realise their potential.
According to consultants Dealogic, Chinese firms have acquired stakes in 33 UK companies since 2008, acquisitions totalling almost £12bn.
They include mining, logistics and financial services companies.
China’s interest in such projects does not come as a surprise to Dr Karl Gerth from Oxford University, who has been researching how social changes in China are pushing global growth.
”China is becoming less and less competitive in manufacturing, those same jobs are moving to Vietnam and other places,” he says.
“At the same time there are millions of unemployed, college educated Chinese looking for work, who don’t want to work in factories; they want technically sophisticated jobs. In order to employ all those people the Chinese economy needs to move up the value chain and start participating in higher-end industries.”
Buying into established brands and pitching for large infrastructure projects abroad is seen as key to providing that upwards trajectory the Chinese economy needs to take.
(Read the full story at BBC News – Why Chinese companies want to buy British businesses.)