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Worldwide investment patterns of Chinese investors are ever-shifting. 

  • Sub-Saharan Africa enjoyed a few years as the top total investment destination of Chinese investors, averaging $30.8 billion per year during the period 2011-2014.
  • West Asia, has in the last two years risen to match Sub-Saharan Africa, by total investment, with major energy - including coal, hydro, and oil - projects, particularly in Russia and Pakistan, pushing up Chinese investment in the region to about $29 billion.
  • The diversity of investment opportunity in Europe, however, has led it to become the top destination for Chinese investment, including multibillion-dollar projects in agriculture, finance, energy.

The United States is the steadiest destination for new investment, increasing 28 times during the period 2011-2016, from $2.45 billion to $70.11 billion. Investment in the US technology industry, specifically related to IBM and Motorola, dramatically boosted Chinese investment in the industry from $740 million in 2013 to $11.09 billion in 2016. The US real estate, energy, and tourism industries have been more consistent investment choices; even within real estate, however, there were sizeable property acquisitions that increased total investment in 2016 in the industry $3 billion above the 2015 level of $3.6 billion. The gains in technology, real estate and even energy in 2014 compensated for the single-year peak in agriculture in 2013 caused by Shanghai's $7.1 billion acquisition of Smithfield Foods, reportedly the world's largest pork producer and processor.

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