Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland rose 6.7 percent year on year in March, slowing from February, official data showed Thursday.
FDI reached 87.8 billion yuan (12.8 billion U.S. dollars) in March, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said in a statement.
The growth rate was lower than the 9.2-percent increase recorded in February.
Total FDI in the first three months of the year edged up 1 percent year on year to 226.5 billion yuan, the MOC said.
During the same period, 6,383 new foreign-funded enterprises were established on the Chinese mainland, up 7.2 percent year on year.
Most investment went to the service sector, which saw FDI expand 7.1 percent year on year in the first quarter to account for 73 percent of the total FDI.
Investment in utility services soared 165.6 percent year on year, while high-tech services attracted 28.7 billion yuan of investment, up 12.4 percent year on year.
Investment from the European Union grew 11.2 percent in the first quarter, the MOC data showed.
Last year, China attracted 126 billion U.S. dollars of foreign direct investment, the largest recipient among developing countries, data showed.