Chinese enterprises have been making major investments in Europe, most notably for the purchase of brand names and technologies, as well as in the fields of agriculture, foods, and leisure activities, a marked difference from past investments which focused mainly on energy resources in developing nations, according to Sina's finance news portal.
In addition, Chinese investors have also been major buyers on Europe's realty market, as 1,909 of 2,378 foreigners up to April this year who spent €500,000 (US$560,775) or more purchasing houses in Portugal in exchange for immigration visas came from China.
Chinese investors have also figured prominently in Europe's financial sector, such as Fosun International and Anbang Insurance which may jointly bid for Novo Banco, Portugal's third largest bank, with an offer exceeding €40 billion (US$44.8 billion).
Chinese investments in Europe topped US$18 billion in 2014, with many cases exceeding US$1 billion in scale, boosting China's share in foreign investments in Europe to 3%. The UK was the largest outlet last year, accounting for US$5.1 billion, mainly for property, followed by Italy with US$3.5 billion, Holland, Portugal, and Germany. Germany sees much investment for for cutting-edge technologies and machinery factories.
Chinese private investors are playing an increasingly prominent role, as they accounted for 30% of total acquisitions, in terms of value, by Chinese in Europe during 2011-2013, compared with only 4% during 2008-2011.
Chinese investors have set their sights on businesses capable of meeting the new lifestyle expectations for middle class and wealthy Chinese, including those sectors related to upgraded consumption, such as beauty treatments, health, and elderly care and experience-based consumption, such as high-end travel and dining, and personal finance, according to Sina's finance news portal.
Chinese private investors began to step into Europe's commercial-property market in 2013, sinking US$2.8 billion in the sector, in such properties as hotels and wineries, which increased to US$3 billion in 2014.
Andreas Scriven, managing director for international business Christie + Co's, a hotel consulting firm, said many Chinese investors are interesting in buying medium-priced hotels, in order to accommodate growing numbers of Chinese travelers in Europe.