Singapore, top destination for mainland firms expanding overseas


April 19, 2018

SINGAPORE, 19 April 2018China's biggest corporates are increasingly flexing their global muscle as the country's economic and geopolitical influence accelerates. According to real estate consulting firm JLL, Chinese businesses are now expanding their global footprint through targeting emerging markets, acquiring overseas firms and making strategic investments in new technologies.


The firm's report, 'China12: China's Cities Go Global', analyses 12 mainland cities and their transformation into major hubs of innovation and global interaction. It also dives into the country's emerging wave of influential corporates and the impact that this group of dynamic Chinese companies have beyond their domestic market.


China's largest companies are leading the charge overseas and emerging as some of the world's most innovative brands. In terms of scale, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent rival Google, Amazon and Facebook while hardware giants like Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo have become some of China's most internationalised firms.


"The China12 are home to a growing group of highly dynamic and ambitious new generation firms that will drive the next wave of globalisation," says Jeremy Kelly, Director of Global Research, JLL. "We're already seeing a higher number of domestic brands, both established firms and new start-ups, enter the international market, with key targets in South and Southeast Asia."


Amongst the global network of cities, Asian markets such as Singapore, Tokyo, Jakarta, Bangkok, Seoul and Delhi are featured prominently. Leading the pack is Singapore as the top destination for mainland firms expanding overseas.


Ms. Tay Huey Ying, Head of Research & Consultancy for JLL Singapore, explains: "Not only is it Asia's most stable and transparent market and a global financial services hub, Singapore also carries strong links to China and is geographically well-placed to act as a gateway into Southeast Asia.


Two of the world's most globalized cities – Tokyo and Seoul – come in at close second and fifth places respectively, demonstrating China's appetite for the world's leading gateways and financial centres. Jakarta (6th) and Bangkok (10th) are major beneficiaries of Chinese companies' expansions into Southeast Asia, and Delhi (13th) is a key target as Chinese corporates seek to tap into India's vast population of over a billion.


Mr. Kelly explains: "Entry into these growth markets allows Chinese companies to tap into Asia's large, young and rapidly growing consumer populations. We've seen some of China's most prominent firms show major interest in start-ups in India, Indonesia and Singapore as they seek to gain a foothold in these booming economies. E-commerce and consumer electronics firms, in particular, are starting to gain strong market shares in some of these markets."


The trajectories of many Asian cities, from megacities to mid-sized hubs, are set to be transformed by Chinese activity in coming years. Alongside increased corporate demand and growing intra-regional capital flows, many emerging South East Asian cities are set to benefit from infrastructure investment related to the 'Belt and Road Initiative', which will support employment and boost economic growth, while Chinese technology and innovation will transform the way people live and work in cities.


For more information, please download 'China12: China's Cities Go Global' now.


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About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. A Fortune 500 company, JLL helps real estate owners, occupiers and investors achieve their business ambitions. In 2017, JLL had revenue of $7.9 billion; managed 4.6 billion square feet, or 423 million square meters; and completed investment sales, acquisitions and finance transactions of approximately $170 billion. At the end of 2017, JLL had nearly 300 corporate offices, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of 82,000. As of December 31, 2017, LaSalle had $58.1 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit


JLL has over 50 years of experience in Asia Pacific, with over 37,000 employees operating in 96 offices in 16 countries across the region. The firm won the 'World's Best' and 'Best in Asia Pacific' International Property Consultancy at the International Property Awards in 2016 and was named number one real estate investment advisory firm in Asia Pacific for the seventh consecutive year by Real Capital Analytics.