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Foreign investment in China slumps to 18-year low

Economic and political worries spur more exits and fewer new entries

An employee of the Korea Exchange Bank in Seoul writes on a stack of Chinese one hundred yuan notes.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- Investment by foreign companies in China tumbled to its lowest level in 18 years in the second half of last year, buffeted by tensions with the U.S., a dimming growth outlook and fears of possible backsliding on economic reforms.

Foreign direct investment into China totaled $42.5 billion between July and December 2022, according to an official balance of payments. That constituted a 73% decline on the year, the sharpest drop dating back to data in 1999. Half-year totals had averaged more than $160 billion between late 2020 and early 2022.

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