Chinese foreign direct investment into the U.S. plummeted for a second year in a row, according to new data.
In 2018, Chinese FDI in the United States fell to just $4.8 billion — a massive decline from $29 billion in 2017 and $46 billion in 2016, according to independent researcher the Rhodium Group.
The 2018 figure marks a 90 percent drop from 2016 and represents the lowest level of direct investment by China since 2011, according to the group's data.
The decline comes amid trade tensions between the U.S. and China and as Beijing adds pressure on Chinese companies to reduce their global holdings and reduce debt levels.
According to the data, a whopping $13 billion worth of U.S. assets were sold by Chinese investors, much of which was purchased during a 2015-2016 investment boom. Including those divestitures, Chinese net U.S. direct investment saw an $8 billion decline in 2018, according to Rhodium Group.
In fact, the group said there's another $20 billion in divestitures that's still pending.
In recent months, China's biggest private companies have put assets up for sale: Anbang has put up a number of its U.S. luxury hotels for sale, HNA Group has listed billions of dollars worth of assets for sale, Fosun International is looking to sell a stake in its New York property, 28 Liberty, and Dalian Wanda Group is exploring a sale of its stake in Legendary Entertainment.
Yet as direct investment dramatically falls, venture capital funding from Chinese sources into the U.S. hit a new record high of $3.1 billion, Rhodium said.
Meanwhile, Chinese investors continue to be the top foreign buyers in terms of both units and dollar volume of U.S. residential housing, for the past six years, according to the National Association of Realtors. That comes amid sustained interest in the American market from middle-class Chinese citizens.