LIST: These American companies are now owned by China?
Talks of the United States and China being pitted against each other over who is number one, who is bigger, and who is more powerful have been going around for quite a while now.
When President Donald Trump launched a trade war with China “to fix unfair trade practices”, we saw tensions spike. What this approach did was bring something clear to everyone that they might never have seen before — China has become powerful, influential, and extremely wealthy on the other side of the world.
To the point that it can stand up to the US, as it is doing now.
It wasn’t until recently that it hit hard — China’s influence has grown so big that it could very well be felt back home. In something more familiar to us, like Hollywood, and recently, the NBA.
But what we might not be aware of is the fact that it’s been there for a while as some of America’s most famous brands have actually fallen into foreign hands.
Here, we’ve put together a list of some American companies that are no longer able to truly call themselves American but are bought out by Chinese conglomerates:
1. General Electric (GE)
General Electric appliances have been a household name in the US from refrigerators, air conditioning, stoves, washer and dryers since 1962, with special thanks to their “Made in America” logo that makes their products appeal more to Americans.
But, what many may not know, is that while GE appliances are still “Made in American,” the iconic US brand is already Chinese owned.
In 2016, GE was bought by the world’s largest appliance company — Haier from China for a whopping $5.4 billion, the largest acquisition of a foreign electronics business in China.
GE Appliances is still headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, but you know now that its real motherland is now in Qingdao, China.
2. AMC Theatres
America’s biggest movie theater chain is sadly not American anymore. AMC was bought out by Beijing-based Dalian Wanda Group in a $2.6 billion deal in May 2012.
The American cinema operator, who has over 8,200 screens in their 661 cinemas across the US was acquired by Chinese businessman Wang Jianlin, who reportedly has a penchant for Hollywood.
The Chinese conglomerate also bought Georgia-based motion picture exhibitor Carmike Cinemas for $1.2 billion.
Reports said that its chairman, Jianlin, also offered to buy a majority stake in American film studio, Paramount Pictures, but was rejected.
So the next time you visit AMC for a movie, at least you already know.
3. Smithfield Foods
The world’s largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods, was acquired by China’s Shuanghui International in 2013 from American owners for nearly $4.7 billion, making it one of the biggest purchase of an American company by a Chinese firm.
The Virginia-based Smithfield Foods is another icon in American homes for its meat products like its famous bacon and holiday hams.
It also owns brands like Farmland, Healthy Ones, Margherita, Curlys and Ekrich.
Now this makes me wonder; with China being the US’ no. 3 export market for pork, and the world’s largest pork producer being a Chinese-owned company, does this mean the $$$ just goes back to them?
In 2017, the US pork industry shipped $1.1 billion worth of pork to China, making it the third largest recipient of US pork.
4. Legendary Entertainment Group
Global entertainment company, Legendary — known for hit movies like “Jurassic World,” “Warcraft,” “Godzilla,” “Pokemon” and “Pacific Rim” is also owned by Chinese company Dalian Wanda, who also owns AMC.
The Beijing-based conglomerate, owned by Forbes 128th richest person in the world, bought the movie studio for $3.5 billion in 2016.
Reports said that initially, parent company Dalian Wanda, wanted to consolidate Legendary into its own conglomerate but is letting the studio operate independently for now.
5. The Waldorf-Astoria
China’s Anbang Insurance Group purchased the well-known Manhattan hotel, Waldorf-Astoria in New York City for $1.95 billion.
The Beijing-based holding company also bought US insurer Fidelity & Guaranty Life and attempted to purchase Starwood Resorts. It lost to American multinational diversified hospitality company Marriott, however.
6. Strategic Hotels & Resorts
Anabang’s interest in American hotels didn’t stop with its purchase of Waldorf, or when it failed to buy Starwoods.
In 2016, Anabang bought Blackstone Group’s luxury hotels chain for $6.5 billion making the Chinese holding company owner of Essex House, Ritz-Carlton hotels in California, the Four Seasons Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and the Fairmont Scottsdale in Arizona.
The American private equity firm sold the Strategic Hotels & Resorts to the Chinese investor for $450 million more.
In early 2018 though, the Chinese government seized control of Anbang Insurance Group as its chairman had been prosecuted to curb mega-spending companies in China to crack down on firms putting China on financial risk.
So I guess the Chinese government owns these properties in America now?
7. Riot Games
LA-based American game-developer, Riot Games, who created the video game “League of Legends” sold a billion-dollar franchise to Chinese holding company Tencent, who has an interest in various internet-related products, services, entertainment, and AI.
In 2011, Tencent bought a majority stake in Riot for $400 million and in 2015 bought the rest of the company, although the final amount was not disclosed.
Shenzhen-based Tencent, who developed Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app WeChat, also holds investment stakes in American video game holding company Activision-Blizzard and video-game franchise “Gears of War” creator Epic Games.
8. Sheraton Universal Hotel, Marriott Downtown Los Angeles
Chinese real estate firm, Shenzhen New World Co., Ltd., has purchased the iconic Sheraton Universal Hotel near Universal City’s studios and theme park in Los Angeles for $60 million in 2011.
The same Shenzhen-based developer also bought the Marriott Downtown Los Angeles hotel in March 2010 for $90 million with the Chinese firm noting the “great location” of the property and expectation that “ the hotel business [will be] getting better.”
9. Ingram Micro
Ingram Micro may not be as familiar to consumers but this distributor of IT products, is just as important. Or ever bigger. It distributes Apple iPhones, Cisco network equipment and IBM products, among others.
But Ingram Micro, based in Irvine, California is now owned by China’s HNA Group, specializing in aviation and logistics. It was bought out for $6 billion in 2016.
Ingram Micro is No. 64 on the Fortune 500.
10. Motorola Mobility
Google sold Motorola Mobility to Chinese computer maker Lenovo in 2014. Late on, it was consolidated to its phone business to go by the brand “Moto.”
The search giant made $2.9 billion in the deal, and made Lenovo the world’s third-largest smartphone make at that time.
11. Terex Corp
The Connecticut-based manufacturer of lifting and material handling solutions for industrial, agricultural and construction purposes, was reportedly bought by China’s largest construction machinery enterprise, Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co., Ltd. for $5.4 billion in 2016.
12. Teledyne Continental Motors and Mattituck Services
Continental Aerospace Technologies (Continental Motors and Teledyne Mattituck Services) was sold to Chinese-stated owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China(AVIC) for $186 million.
While the American aircraft engine manufacturer is now owned by the Beijing-based AVIC, who is ranked 159th in the Fortune Global 500, it remains to be located at the Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile, Alabama as part of the deal.
Chinese firms also fully-own Triple H Coal, GM Global Steering, First International Oil, Friede Goldman United, Woodbine Acquisition, Bank of East Asia (USA).
International Lease Finance Corp, Apptec Laboratory Services, Complete Genomics, Zonare Medical Systems, ASSA Properties, One Chase Manhattan Plaza, A123 Systems, Mochi Media, Quorum Systems, Goss International and the PC business of IBM are also owned by China.
China also has a stake in the ff. American companies:
Morgan Stanley, VISA, Blackstone, Ford, Chesapeake Energy, and in famous American social news aggregation site Reddit.
Oh, and did I tell you that the most downloaded app in the US in (October 2018) Tiktok is also owned by a Chinese Internet technology company, Beijing ByteDance?
BBC reported in 2015 that China has an estimated $4 trillion of foreign reserves stashed away in various foreign investments. The US has been the largest recipient of Chinese money back then.
So the next time you wonder why China has such influence, even in the US, you will already have an idea why.