Over 900 companies in the Netherlands are now at least 50% owned by Chinese firms or the Chinese state, according to research by RTL Nieuws and Follow the Money.
While most are active in financial and business services, or consumer goods, others are busy in more sensitive sectors, the research shows.
Some are active in Rotterdam port – shipping giant Cosco is in Chinese hands, for example. In total, 122 operate in the IT and telecoms sectors and several of these have ties to Dutch universities of technology.
The Netherlands is an important country for Chinese investments and in the period 2018 to 2021, almost 90% of Chinese investments in Europe were made in Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands, RTL said.
Dutch security service AIVD has warned for years about the increasing influence of China and said in its most recent annual report that ‘China is the biggest threat to the economic security of the Netherlands.’
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