China's outbound direct investment totaled 961.9 billion yuan ($140 billion) in the January to October period, up 53.3 percent from a year earlier, the Ministry of Commerce said yesterday.
The growth rate was in line with the January to September figure, when 882.8 billion yuan was invested in 160 foreign countries and overseas regions.
Investment in the US surged 173.9 percent in the first 10 months of the year, the strongest year-on-year increase for China's non-financial overseas investment. Companies in the Yangtze River Delta contributed 35.3 percent of the total, nearly double their share a year ago, ministry spokesman Sun Jiwen said.
In the same period, foreign direct investment in the Chinese mainland rose 4.2 percent year on year to reach 666.3 billion yuan.
The service sector, which accounted for 70.7 percent of total investment, saw a year-on-year increase of 9.1 percent.
The ministry said its figures did not include investments made in the banking, insurance and securities industries.
China's overseas investment surpassed incoming investment this year for the first time since records began in late 2008, as Chinese companies conducted more mergers and acquisitions overseas.
The gap between accumulative outbound and inbound investments widened from 50.8 billion yuan in February to 295.6 billion yuan last month.
The trend is expected to continue, with Chinese companies investing heavily in countries along the Belt and Road Initiative, Sun said.
China signed US$84.3 billion worth of construction contracts on Belt and Road-related projects during the 10-month period, up 30.7 percent year on year.
In response to concerns about inward investment, Sun said they should be answered by the growing number of follow-on investments from the European Union and elsewhere.
He said there was no change in China's policy toward foreign investors. "The country will keep its stance to protect their legitimate interests, and provide better services and easier access for those want to invest in China," Sun said.