A new report from the Rhodium Group, a group that keeps one of the most complete databases of Chinese foreign direct investment into the United States, indicates North Carolina is a huge recipient of investment dollars from that country.
Over $5 billion Chinese dollars have been invested in North Carolina, third only to California and Texas. Investments in those two states are also in the $5 billion range. Illinois is fourth with $4 billion and New York is fifth with $3.8 billion.
Chinese companies employ 15,000 people in North Carolina, many of those in Bladen County.
“A significant employer in the Tar Heel state is Smithfield Foods, which was bought by a Chinese food company about two years ago in a controversial acquisition. Smithfield is headquartered in Virginia, but has production facilities throughout the country,” including Smithfield Packing at Tar Heel in Bladen County. Smithfield Foods is Bladen County’s largest employer.
“The Chinese second-largest employer in North Carolina is Lenovo. In 2005, Lenovo acquired IBM’s PC business including its operations in the Research Triangle. It took American investors by surprise at the time, as it was the first major acquisition of an American brand by a Chinese company. It awakened the U.S. investing community to the rise of China, not just as a manufacturing giant, but as a country that wanted to take on a greater global presence,” according to a recent CNBC report.
“Chinese investment here is still tiny compared with the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, France and Canada,” according to the report.