Chinese investors have invested $40.4 billion in Australia in the past four years. This is revealed in new data which also shows 70% of the investments came from Chinese investors residing in Australia, rather than in China, Hong Kong or Singapore.

The data, compiled by Australian National University researchers, also shows the total amount Chinese investors spent in Australia fell last year to $8.9 billion, down from a peak of $14.9 billion in 2016. Most of the investment went into New South Wales and Victoria.

It comes as the Department of Home Affairs reviews the need for the Business Innovation and Investment Program, a visa scheme which allows foreigners to fast-track their entry into the country if they invest $1.5 million, $5 million or $15 million in “complying investments”.

Chinese government-backed investors spent $19.2 billion in Australia between 2014 and 2017 – about 47% of the total transactions by Chinese investors. Private investors were responsible for $21.2 billion, 53% of the total.