Out­bound in­vest­ment tar­get­ing know-how, ro­bot­ics

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By BO LE­UNG in Lon­don bole­ung@mail.chi­nadai­lyuk.com

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 Lon­don­based law firm.

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.”

The ap­proach of Spring Fes­ti­val, the tra­di­tional time for fam­ily re­unions in China, saw many peo­ple mak­ing travel plans or pre­par­ing to go on year-end shop­ping sprees.

Liu Cuilan used to do those things, but this year, she pre­ferred to re­main at home after giv­ing birth to twin daugh­ters a month ago.

Liu, a 30-year-old English teacher from Meizhou, a pre­fec­ture-level city in the east of Guang­dong prov­ince, and her hus­band Luo Yi, a bank teller, also have a 4-year-old son. They de­cided to have a sec­ond child after the gov­ern­ment im­ple­mented the sec­ond-child pol­icy early last year — but they didn’t ex­pect twins.

“You have no idea what you will be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing with twin ba­bies un­til you have them. It is a strug­gle to feed them, change their di­a­pers and lull them to sleep. I am crazily busy every day,” Liu said.

Even work­ing as hard as pos­si­ble, Liu still could not cover every need, so she asked her mother-in-law to live with them and lend a help­ing hand.

In Oc­to­ber, the fam­ily — then num­ber­ing three peo­ple — spent the Golden Week hol­i­day in Shan­tou, a city in Guang­dong, and also vis­ited rel­a­tives and friends in the coun­try­side to spend some qual­ity time with them.

Prepa­ra­tion, ex­haus­tion

“I am afraid that won’t hap­pen again for about three years. There is a huge amount of prepa­ra­tion to do be­fore we go out, and we have to take my mother-in-law with us every time be­cause the ba­bies need spe­cial care. Every­one would be ex­hausted, so the best choice is to stay home,” Liu said.

The ar­rival of the twins will also mean higher daily ex­penses dur­ing the hol­i­day.

“Milk pow­der costs money, and with the whole fam­ily liv­ing in the city, spend­ing the Spring Fes­ti­val at home will re­quire more money to cover ev­ery­day ex­penses than if we had headed back to the vil­lage in the coun­try­side. We can imag­ine our lives in three


Ahmed D. Hussen (left), Canada’s min­is­ter of im­mi­gra­tion, refugees and cit­i­zen­ship, and Canada’s Am­bas­sador to China John McCal­lum ring the peace bell on the Chi­nese New Year’s Eve at Cham Shan Tem­ple in Toronto. See story page 2


Liu Cuilan and her chil­dren.

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