Chinese investment in Israel rose tenfold in 2016, with tech a key sector, according to data from Thomson Reuters. We spoke to someone on the ground in Tel Aviv to get the full picture and heard how cultural similarities, governmental ambitions, and legal changes are all at play – and how the good times may already be over.

Chinese VCs and tech firms have long been investing in the US and increasingly in southeast Asia, and just last week Xiaomi announced it was pushing its brand in India opening its first store there this month with a 100 to follow. Investment in Israel has also been growing fast. From 2011 to 2016, Chinese investment in Israeli tech has seen 50% year-on-year growth.

According to a new report by Reuters, Chinese investment in Israel, in general, was up tenfold in 2016 to $16.5 billion, with money being poured into internet, cyber-security and medical startups. The report cites increased protectionism in the US in late 2016 as one of the factors for the switch in target countries, as the data shows a surge in investment in Israel just when the US regulations kicked in. In 2016 Chinese investors dropped $26.3 billion of previously-announced deals in the US.

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Frank Hersey

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...