follow us:
site: HOME > > Economic > China Buzz > Zeigeist
It's Not Just Large Chinese Companies that are Going Global

April 19, 2013
Translated by Liu Jingyue and Pang Lei
Earlier this week Spiegel Online published a story that said Europe had become the world's largest recipient of foreign investment by Chinese firms. The article noted that while North America largely views them with suspicion, China's state-owned corporations were being welcomed with open arms to a continent mired in recession and in need of capital.

The report, which was based on research conducted by a Hong Kong-based private equity firm called A Capital, said that Chinese state-owned companies invested more than $12.6 billion in the Continent in 2012, almost 20 percent up on the amount invested in 2011.

The report noted that 93 percent of Chinese investment in Europe came from state-owned corporations.

But it's not just the huge state-owned enterprises and soverign wealth funds that are seeing business opportunities in Europe.

It seems that entrepreneurs operating on a smaller scale and catering to Chinese people living in Europe are also becoming more prominent, or at least being more attention is being paid to their activities by people back in mainland China.

A picture posted to the personal Sina Weibo account of a young Chinese journalist living in Paris last week of a random ad scribbled in Chinese on the wall of a Paris metro station sparked a lively debate on social media in China.

The photo was of a phone number and the phrase "to the door hair dressing services" (上门理发) written on the wall of a subway station. The post has since been shared more than 10,000 times.

Some people who commented on the post and much of the mainstream reporting on the issue, viewed it as a sign that the illegal street ads that litter streets, are scribbled on walls and stuck to bus stops around the country are now spreading like some kind of disease overseas.

As one Weibo user commented, "Now Chinese street ads are finally 'going global' as well."

This view tended to be expressed either with a sense of disappointment or even shame or alternatively with a kind of ironic pride. Such street ads are often referred to in Chinese as xiao guanggao (小广告) or little advertisements and have long been considered by many to be an ugly nuisance.

As the ads are often plastered layer upon layer over walls, utility poles or any surface for that matter, they are often jokingly compared to an urban skin disease (城市牛皮癣) in Chinese.

Others were less shocked by the ad, noting that the Paris metro system is very dirty anyway and home to a lot of vagrants.

Links and Sources
CCTV: 巴黎地铁现中文小广告 网友感叹:终于走出国门
Xinhua News Agency: 巴黎地铁现中文小广告 网友:城市牛皮癣逆天了
Sina Weibo: 京酱丝丝
Spiegel Online: Capital Study: Chinese Investment in Europe Hits Record High


Comments(The views posted belong to the commentator, not representative of the EO)

username: Quick log-in

About China Buzz

The Economic Observer's editorial staff are always on the look out for interesting, fresh and high-quality China-related content. Whether it's the latest buzz on Weibo, links to insightful articles or updates on the latest books and reports, through China Buzz we'll keep you in the loop about what's going on in the world of Chinese politics and economics.

Most popular

this week
this month


E-mail subscription

Enter your e-mail address to subscribe to China Buzz and receive notifications of new posts through e-mail.