Taiwan’s investment in China has fallen, though it is hard to see the reason. A simple blip? But outgoing investment approvals fell 20%.

Taiwan approved a total of 747 applications for China-bound investment worth US$3 billion in the seven months to July, down 20.36 percent from a year ago, the Investment Commission said yesterday.

There was some evidence that investors were pulling out do to the appreciation of the yuan, real or anticipated, that I blogged on earlier this summer. But this looks like a case of normal fluctuation…

Taiwan’s corporate investment in China fell 2.1 percent to US$371 million in July from a year earlier, the Investment Commission of the Ministry of Economic Affairs said.


Taiwan’s foreign investment last month more than doubled from a year earlier to US$410 million, according to the commission.

While year on year figures for June double, YOY figures for July fall. The difference is $410 million to $371 million, so the real difference is between the figures for last year, it looks like. However, good numbers are hard to obtain, as this 2002 article points out:

Unofficial estimates, however, have always put actual investment much higher given that many Taiwan companies circumvent government supervision by investing in China through a subsidiary in a third country, in particular tax havens such as the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands.

Imagine Taiwanese circumventing the authorities. That just never happens….