Global Times Mobile
From real estate, to high-tech companies to entertainment giants, Chinese investments in the US, notably California, are on course to set records again this year.

Chinese companies spent a record $15 billion in 2015 in the US and that figure could more than double in 2016, according to research firm Rhodium Group and the National Committee on US-China Relations.

California, especially the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, has been at the forefront of China's appetite to invest overseas, with billions of dollars going into the technology, renewable energy and entertainment sectors, and increasingly into real estate.

China has put $8 billion into California businesses since 2000, more than in any other state, a recent Rhodium Group study said.

It added that there were 452 Chinese-owned businesses that employed more than 9,500 people in the state as of the end of last year, among them online commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding and Internet company Tencent Holdings

Cash is also flowing into Hollywood, with the real estate and entertainment conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group paying $3.5 billion earlier this year to acquire the film studio Legendary Pictures, the largest-ever cultural takeover by China.

The trend shows no signs of abating for the foreseeable future, experts said, despite tumult in China's economy and mounting rhetoric during the US presidential campaign.

"Chinese investment in the US - and California in particular - will almost certainly multiply in the coming years," said Matt Sheehan, who consults and writes about Chinese investment in the Golden State and whose forthcoming book is entitled Chinafornia.

"If the domestic Chinese economy continues to boom, companies will have the loose cash to make strategic investments and vanity purchases abroad," said Sheehan.

"If the Chinese economy and yuan go into a nosedive, you'll likely see a large capital flight disguised as overseas investment."

One sector increasingly on the Chinese shopping list in the US is real estate, with buyers snapping up expensive homes and high-end commercial properties at a record pace.

Chinese investors pumped nearly $11 billion into US real estate in the first five months of 2016, outpacing last year's total of $4.37 billion, according to a report by real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

Of the four mega development projects in progress in Los Angeles, three are by Chinese companies, including a $1 billion condominium and hotel development by Beijing-based Oceanwide Holdings and a similar project - Metropolis - by Shanghai-based Greenland Holding Group.