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Economy

Xia Le: China's numbers don't tell full story on foreign investment

There was a lot of excitement earlier in the year about figures suggesting that China's outward investment roughly matched the amount it received from abroad last year.

     Optimism seems well-founded. According to data from the Ministry of Commerce, foreign direct investment in China increased by an anemic 1.7% in 2014 compared with the previous year, reaching $119.6 billion. Meanwhile, overseas direct investment from China rose by almost 7.6% to $116 billion. The implications of this shift appear huge, marking a turning point in China's development and representing an unprecedented shift in economic influence away from developed economies and toward emerging Asia. But China's official statistics may be significantly distorted and should be taken with a grain of salt.

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