Transparency on US-China capital flows

In the past three years US strategic doctrine on China has shifted from a presumption of eventual convergence with liberal market principles to expectation of long-term systemic rivalry. The shift is reflected in a reassessment of US interests and policies across all channels of economic engagement: trade, investment, innovation, people and more…

This is the thesis of a report by the US-China Investment Project, a multiyear research initiative that aims at providing greater transparency on capital flows between China and the United States, published this month: Disruption: US-China Venture Capital in a New Era of Strategic Competition

Main findings (the two charts below are actually “illuminating”):

  • Venture capital is taking center stage in policy debates on US-China technology collaboration, but there is insufficient public information and data to inform an intelligent discussion.
  • Chinese venture capital investment in the US increased rapidly after 2014 from a very low base but has stalled since 2018, and China’s role in US technology financing remains relatively small.
  • Activity in both directions peaked in 1H 2018 and subsided throughout 2019 due to market dynamics as well as policy and political uncertainty.
  • US policymakers face important decisions in 2020 that will shape future bilateral VC flows as well as the direction of the broader US-China relationship.

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