China Invasion – Top 10 American Iconic Brands Now Owned By Chinese

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May 12 2017
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Donald Trump was frustrated not only because China was manipulating their currency so that Americans buy more cheaper Chinese products, but also because billions of US dollar earned by such unfair trade are being used to purchase American companies. While the Yankees had invaded China as part of Eight-Nation Alliance in 1900, the Chinese is returning the favour by acquiring their iconic brands.


The pace of Chinese buying of U.S. companies is unprecedented. Last year alone, China’s shopping spree managed to grab Ingram Micro, Strategic Hotels & Resorts, General Electric Appliances, Carmike Cinemas, movie studio and even the world’s largest gay apps. The shopping spree, however, is not going to stop anytime soon and in fact would get more aggressive.

Chicago Stock Exchange

China’s HNA Group is talking about buying a controlling stake in Forbes magazine. And if Trump doesn’t put a stop, 135-year-old Chicago Stock Exchange could be under China’s Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group control for under US$100 billion. Here’re some of American famous brands or icons which no longer belong to them – they’re now owned by the Chinese.


{ 1 } Motorola

Motorola Martin Cooper with DynaTAC 8000X

Dating as far back as 1928, Motorola was one of the leaders in telecommunication industry and was an important part of Apollo 11 mission. Motorola spun off Motorola Mobility, which in turned was bought by Google in 2012 for US$12.5 billion. The search giant, however, sold it to China-owned Lenovo for US$2.9 billion two years later in 2014, making Lenovo the world’s third-largest smartphone maker.



{ 2 } Ingram Micro

Ingram Micro - Distribution Center

Not many consumers heard of this name but Ingram Micro distributes everything from Apple’s iPhone to Cisco’s enterprise network equipments with revenue of US$43 billion in 2015. In Feb, 2016, this American company founded in 1979 was sold to Chinese group HNA for US$6 billion. However, the company remains headquartered in Irvine, California, with the same CEO.



{ 3 } Strategic Hotels & Resorts

Strategic Hotels & Resorts - Four Seasons

If you haven’t heard of this brand, think Ritz-Carlton California and Four Seasons in Wyoming. It owns 18 luxury hotels, 17 in the U.S. and one in Germany. In March 2016, Blackstone Group, the new owner who bought Strategic Hotels & Resorts 6 months earlier sold it to Anbang Insurance Group for US$6.5 billion – making a quick US$500 million profit.



{ 4 } The Waldorf Astoria

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel New York

An icon of glamour and luxury, Waldorf Astoria New York is one of the world’s most prestigious and best known hotels. The history of the hotel, which stretched as far back as 1893, is so significant that its luxury suites are named after celebrities who lived or stayed in them such as MacArthur Suite and Churchill Suite. Anbang Insurance Group snapped it for US$1.95 billion in 2014.



{ 5 } GE Appliances

GE General Electric Appliances

Founded in 1905, GE Appliances is more than 100-year-old. It was a household icon and local brand which every American was proud of. Swedish appliance manufacturer – Electrolux – tried to acquire it for US$3.3 billion in 2014 but failed due to regulatory concerns. Chinese appliance conglomerate Haier flashed US$5.4 billion in early 2016 and got it. Its HQ remains in Kentucky.



{ 6 } Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods

Founded and headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia, the brand Smithfield Foods has been an icon of the American food industry and is best known for its hams. With annual revenue of US$14 billion, it also has operations in Mexico and 10 European countries. But the company which produces over 6-billion pounds of pork annually was sold to Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd for US$7.1 billion in 2013.



{ 7 } AMC Theatres

AMC Theatres

The Chinese Communist Party’s richest man – Wang Jianlin – bought AMC in 2012 for US$2.6 billion. His company, Dalian Wanda Group, continue its shopping spree and added Carmike Cinemas, a rival 3,000-screen chain into AMC Entertainment in Nov, 2016, for US$1.2 billion, making AMC the nation’s biggest cinema chain – 8,380 screens in over 600 theatres.



{ 8 } Legendary Entertainment Group

Jurassic World Park

What good would theatres do without movies, right? To complete the puzzle in a picture, Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group was smart enough to buy movie studio to go with its theatres. In Jan, 2016, the Chinese billionaire acquired Legendary Entertainment for US$3.5 billion, making him in charge of “Jurassic Park”, “Warcraft”, “Godzilla” and “Pacific Rim”.



{ 9 } Riot Games

Riot Games

If you’re a gamer, chances are you know “League of Legends” – one of the big names in video game world. Chinese company Tencent, a US$300 billion company of which its WeChat attracts 900-million monthly active users, bought a majority stake in Riot Games for US$400 million in 2011. By Dec, 2015, Riot Games sold off its remaining shares and is today 100% owned by Tencent.



{ 10 } Grindr

Grindr App - Gays

Chinese businessmen do not discriminate when comes to making money. Grindr, the world’s largest gay social network, sold 60% stake to Beijing Kunlun Tech Co. in Jan, 2016 for US$93 million. The owner of the Chinese gaming company is 39-year-old Zhou Yahui, a billionaire worth US$2.2 billion (Forbes, April 2017) who helped introduce Angry Birds to China.


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