Britain is the first choice for Chinese hi-tech companies seeking to establish a foreign presence, according to the government sponsored investment agency Invest UK.
About 125 Chinese mainland-based firms now have established operations in Britain and another 90 have recently entered the British market, the agency claimed.
This follows Chinese president Jiang Zemin's announcement in 2000 of a go-abroad policy for both state-owned and private enterprises.
Hi-tech industries such as IT hardware and software, telecommunications and bio-technology are being actively encouraged to come to Britain. Typically a sales office is created with warehousing and perhaps manufacturing down the line.
The attraction of Britain seems partly to be a result of its long-established Hong Kong connection. "This is a neat combination of British, mainland [China] and Hong Kong venture capital working together," said Chris Fraser, Invest UK's investment adviser for China.
"It demonstrates Britain's strength in value-added services such as R&D."
Invest UK and China's Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation recently signed a five-year investment partnership deal to boost investment between them. Britain is already Europe's biggest investor in China.
Britain is also seen as an attractive location for setting up regional headquarters because of favourable taxation.
For instance, a recent arrival, Shanghai General Electric Group, has placed its European head office in London. Some companies hope that in time it will lead to a stock exchange listing.
As well as direct investment, and mergers or acquisitions involving UK-based companies, there are backup initiatives such as student recruitment for British universities and Chinese website promotion of opportunities.
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