In record outbound year, China homes in on the US

Asian powerhouse searches for growth in US safe havens

John Reiss | Christopher Kelly | Vivian Tsoi | Alex Zhang


The volume of outbound deals from China into the US hit an all-time high in 2016. There were 77 deals from China into the US valued at US$64.6 billiona year-on-year increase of 26 percent in volume and 447 percent in value.

Major deals included entertainment conglomerate Dalian Wanda’s purchase of film production company Legendary in January and manufacturer Qingdao Haier’s US$5.4 billion acquisition of GE’s appliances division six months later. 

While 2016 has been a banner year, Chinese dealmakers may face certain challenges in 2017. Starting in November, governmental agencies in China issued a new policy statement and interpretations to tighten oversight of outbound investments by Chinese companies and clamp down on capital flight. 

Meanwhile, President-elect Donald Trump has threatened to limit China’s ability to acquire US companies. On the other hand, the January 10 edition of the Wall Street Journal had a picture of Jack Ma and Donald Trump on its front page, with Mr. Trump being quoted as saying "Jack and I are going to do great things."

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