In Fear of Trojan Horse? China’s Cross-Border Acquisitions in Europe Amid the One Belt One Road Initiative

Julan Du, Yifei Zhang

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


This chapter provides a dynamic view of Chinese overseas direct investment in the form of cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in Europe before and after the inception of the One Belt One Road Initiative (BRI). We analysed that the number and value of China’s merger deals in Europe increased rapidly in 2014−16, but declined in 2017−18. Comparatively speaking, the decline in the BRI-member European Union (EU) countries was smaller than in the non-BRI-member EU countries. We further examine a series of M&A characteristics, finding that the BRI in practice helped to slow down the occurrences of incomplete deals and hostile acquisitions, facilitating instead-incremental acquisitions, majority-stake acquisitions, and non-state-owned enterprise (non-SOE) acquisitions. Our findings suggest a significant change in the pattern of Chinese cross-border M&As around 2017 following the growing suspicions and wariness of Europe toward the expanding presence of Chinese capital in Europe. Such practices will be addressed in line with the changing global attitudes towards China-led economic objectives, evaluating the potential for future pan-European strategic collaborations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChina and the Belt and Road Initiative: Trade Relationships, Business Opportunities and Political Impacts
EditorsYoung-Chan Kim
Number of pages35
ISBN (Electronic)2196-3142
ISBN (Print)2196-3134
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameUnderstanding China


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