In recent years, the M&A market landscape in China has changed fundamentally. While the growth of inbound M&A was more likely to be affected by global economic crisis and fluctuating Chinese growth, more and more Chinese companies are seeking their opportunities through buying companies overseas.
Most M&A transactions of Chinese companies still take place in the domestic market. The economically better developed regions including China’s largest cities Beijing and Shanghai are still leading the market. In 2018, 299 M&A transactions were completed in Beijing with transaction value of around 207 billion yuan. In the overseas market, European companies are getting increasingly popular, whereas Chinese buyers’ M&A activities in the United States were restricted due to tense relationship between the two countries.
In the context of Chinese internet giants competing for market share, some M&A transactions of internet companies were particularly worth mentioning. In 2018, Alibaba has taken full control of the startup Ele.me which specializes on local food delivery service. This deal indicates Alibaba’s great ambition in the local services sector. Real estate, financial services and telecommunication remain sectors where M&A transactions with large deal value took place.