Chinese Impact on Europe

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Chinese impact on Europe
Chinese buyers often run by the Communist Party and sometimes driven by politics as well as profit—have accounted for a tenth of cross-border deals by value this year, bidding for everything from American gas and Brazilian electricity grids to a Swedish car company, Volvo.

| Chinese firms own just 6% (data for November 2010) of |[pic] | |global investment in international business. Historically, top dogs | | |have had a far bigger share than that. Both Britain and America | | |peaked with a share of about 50%, in 1914 and 1967 respectively. | | |China’s natural rise could be turbocharged by its vast pool of | | |savings. Today this is largely invested in rich countries’ | | |government bonds; tomorrow it could be used to buy companies and | | |protect China against rich countries’ devaluations and possible | | |defaults. | |

Chinese firms expand their business for the usual reasons: to acquire raw materials, get technical know-how and gain access to foreign markets. But they are under the guidance of a state that many countries consider China as strategic competitor, not an ally. In fact, China is miles away from posing a threat: most of its firms are only just finding their feet abroad. Even in natural resources, where it has been...
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