Shenzhen’s actual foreign direct investment rose 19% year-on-year to US$5.8 billion in the first half of this year, government statistics show. This was an acceleration from the 11.8% recorded in the whole of last year. The latest number accounts for 6% of the country’s total.
However, what exactly constitutes foreign investment is a little murky. Is this capital from real multinationals, or Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong?
According to state media, Shenzhen has established more than 100,000 foreign-invested enterprises to date, with investments totaling US$328 billion, of which US$128 billion has been utilized. It has attracted 295 Fortune 500 companies.
In February, Shenzhen issued new regulations designed to attract more multinationals to the city. Since then, 18 have been recognized. A few of the better known include: Wal-Mart, China Resources Vanguard, and Maoye Commercial Building in the wholesale and retail industry; Shenzhen Mcwell, Eka Technology, and Salcom Technology in the electronic information industry; and Mingyuan Cloud Technology and Futu Network in the software and information service industry. Wal-Mart has been in the city since 1996, so it is not clear how the US retailing and wholesaling giant is on this list. As a keen observer will notice, the rest are actually Chinese companies.