The ratio of the number of EU firms controlled by China has increased rapidly, from 1.4% of foreign-controlled firms in 2007 to 8% in 2015-16 (approximately 8,000 firms). This represents about 3% of EU firms' total assets, which are controlled by China in 2016 (Staff Working Document: Foreign Direct Investment in the EU, 2019 (PDF)).
Chinese investments in Europe are increasingly targeting strategic sectors, particularly manufacturing and ICT companies based in Germany and UK, followed by France, Italy and the Netherlands.
Besides their dynamic growth, what also distinguishes Chinese acquisitions are the much larger productivity gains for Chinese acquiring firms compared to their EU or US counterparts.
The EU acknowledges the possible distortive effects of foreign state ownership and state financing in the internal market.
Therefore, the Commission is working on identifying ways to fill gaps in EU law, while Member States are encouraged to make full use of existing EU procurement rules and the investment screening legislation to safeguard European interests.