The impacts of Chinese investment in and trade with Africa have become the subject of much speculation. CIFOR's ‘Chinese trade and investment in Africa' project seeks to understand the impacts of China's role in shifting global trade flows and investment patterns on forests in two African ecological regions, the Congo Basin and the southern African woodlands, with a focus on sectors with potential direct impacts on forests: mining, forestry and agriculture. Globally, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) by Chinese companies have been increasing in recent years. Africa is the second most frequent destination for mining M&A events, and research shows increased interest in M&A activity in Africa. Most M&A activity is in the oil and mining sectors. Further research is required to produce a comprehensive database of actual Chinese investment activities in Africa. M&A as a growing form of overseas investment by Chinese companies also merits investigation.