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International News From the Field: China

Foreign investment use in China shrank in 2023, but new measures are aimed at its increase. With stimulus and confrontations with structural slowdowns, is the economic recovery finally gaining traction? For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.
Nov 17, 2023

The China manufacturing PMI fell to 49.5 in October 2023 from 50.6 in September, missing market forecasts of 50.8 but still up 0.61% year over year. In the third quarter alone, the YOY GDP growth rate reached 4.9%, beating the median forecast of around 4.6%, a 5.2% increase YOY. The services sector posted the strongest YOY growth rate among the three primary sectors at 6% in the first three quarters of 2023, while manufacturing GDP recorded 4.4% growth YOY.

China's actual use of foreign investment shrank by 5.1% YOY in the first eight months of 2023, according to official stats. In late October, China announced the full lifting of restrictions on foreign investment access in the manufacturing industry, which means the country is more open and offers more opportunities, adding new impetus to the transformation and upgrading of China's manufacturing industry. China has been enacting new measures to improve the business environment and increase efforts to encourage and welcome foreign investments.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology launched the "Guiding Opinions on the Innovative Development of Humanoid Robots" plan in early November. It proposes the creation of three industrial development and manufacturing clusters, the innovation system of humanoid robots, and implementing mass production by 2025. The industry will accelerate to achieve large-scale development, and the application scenarios will be more abundant by 2027.

A few recently announced projects and investment news items are listed below.

  • Stellantis and Zhejiang Leapmotor Technology announced in late October that Stellantis plans to invest about 1.5 billion euros to acquire a 20% stake in Leapmotor, which will make Stellantis a major shareholder. Furthermore, Stellantis and Leapmotor will form a joint venture called Leapmotor International, proportioned at 51% to 49%. The joint venture has the exclusive right to export and sell to all other markets around the world, as well as the exclusive right to manufacture Leapmotor products locally.

  • SAIC Group´s new energy battery factory was initiated in October. The company plans to produce 300,000 sets of power batteries while the plant will receive a total investment of $274 million.

  • Anhui Peitian Robots Technology Group plans to invest $28 million to produce industrial robots, with an annual output of 8,000 units.

  • Hubei Zhuoyang Optical Lens announced investments of $27 million to make lenses in China. Plans are to produce 500,000 units a year.

  • ZF announced an investment of $57 million to produce automotive parts in Guangzhou, like electronic braking control units, airbag control cells, remote collision sensors, smart cameras, and others.

  • Han’s Robot will invest $82 million in Wuxi Jiangsu to build a manufacturing plant for robots and components.

  • Jiangwu Carbide announced an investment of $122 million to produce high-performance coated carbide inserts, with an annual output of 20 million units.

  • Yuanwan Optoelectronics announced an investment of $84 million to build a facility to produce optoelectronics.

For more information, please contact Fred Qian at fredqian@AMTchina.org.

Fred Qian
General Manager - Shanghai Technology and Service Center of AMT
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