The skyline in Pudong, Shanghai. Photo: Wikimedia commons/Ermell

China’s inbound foreign investment rose 2.5% to US$103.26 billion in the first three quarters from the same period of last year, according to the Statistical Bulletin of China’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) 2020 released by the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) at the ongoing third China International Import Expo.

In the face of the huge impact of Covid-19 and the increasingly complicated domestic and international environment, China has taken measures to stabilize foreign investment in the country, said MOC official Zong Changqing.

The attractiveness of China’s vast market to foreign investment has not changed, and the expectations and confidence that foreign investors have in long-term investment and operations in China have not changed, Zong said.

From 2016 to 2019, the country’s total inbound foreign investment was $549.6 billion, with an average annual growth of 1%. In the 2016-2020 period, the figure is expected to reach US$690 billion.

China has been the world’s second-largest foreign direct investment destination for three consecutive years as of 2017, according to the bulletin.

Amid a sharp contraction in global cross-border capital flows in recent years, the proportion of China’s FDI in the global FDI increased from 6.6% in 2015 to 9.2% in 2019, and is expected to rise this year, it added.

Antigen tests approved

China’s top drug regulator has recently approved two antigen tests for Covid-19 that can produce results within 20 minutes, aimed at expediting the management of suspected cases of the virus and boosting testing capacity.

Antigen tests, which detect proteins on the surface of the virus, are considered cheaper and faster, but are less accurate than the widely used nucleic acid tests, which look for genetic traces of the virus in samples.

The newly approved tests, developed by Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech Co and Beijing Jinwofu Bioengineering Technology Co, are the first antigen tests for Covid-19 to be approved by the National Medical Products Administration, the administration said in a statement released on Thursday.

Company news

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said its second-quarter revenue surged 30% year-on-year to 155 billion yuan ($23 billion) for the three months ended September 30.

Revenue from core commerce increased 29% year-on-year to 130.9 billion yuan, and revenue from its China commerce retail was up 26% to nearly 95.5 billion yuan. Meanwhile, that from cloud computing was nearly 14.9 billion yuan, an increase of 60% compared with the same period of the last fiscal year.

According to the company, there were 757 million annual active consumers in its China retail marketplaces, an increase of 15 million from the 12-month period ending on June 30, 2020.

SF Airlines, China’s leading air cargo carrier, said Thursday that it opened a new international cargo route linking central China’s Wuhan and Germany’s Frankfurt.

The Wuhan-Frankfurt route is the fourth China-Europe air cargo route of SF Airlines. It is also the airline’s third international route starting from Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province, said SF Airlines.

This new cargo airline will use the B747-400 all-cargo freighter, with a cargo capacity of up to 110 tonnes. In the initial period, it will mainly serve air cargo transport of e-commerce parcels, textile products, auto parts and large mechanical equipment.

The stories were compiled by Nadeem XU and Shan Hui and first published at

Xu Yuenai

Xu Yuenai is a Beijing-based columnist specializing in international relations.