China confounded naysayers in 2021, who warned President Xi Jinping’s clampdowns on Big Tech and property developers would cause giant waves of capital to flee Asia’s biggest economy.
Instead, Xi’s nation pulled in a record-high US$334 billion in net foreign direct investment (FDI), a 32% jump from 2020. Data released by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE, suggest global investors kept their eyes on the “Made in China 2025” prize while looking past regulatory uncertainty.
In the first half of 2021, for example, China’s 21 pilot free trade zones around the nation pulled in 17% of the total FDI. And while SAFE may provide more granular data in the days ahead, indications so far are that overseas capital continues to flock to high-tech industries, particularly high-tech manufacturing and service sectors.