Employees will be working on the WEY Tank 300 SUV production line at a Great Wall Motors factory in Chongqing, China, on January 19, 2021.

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The Chinese economy brought in more FDI than any other country last year, knocking the United States off the list.

China brought in $ 163 billion in inflows last year, compared to $ 134 billion attracted by the U.S., the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development wrote in a report released on Sunday. In 2019, the U.S. received $ 251 billion in inflows and China received $ 140 billion.

Overall, the report found that foreign direct investment increased globally as the Covid-19 pandemic virtually brought countries large and small to a standstill.

FDI fell 42% to $ 859 billion in 2020, a 30% decrease from the depths of the 2009 financial crisis. The economic measure takes into account investments in one country made by people and businesses in other countries, such as building a factory or opening a satellite office.

The industrialized countries were hit harder than the so-called “developing countries” last year. Investments in the United States fell 49%, slightly below the industrialized nation’s average of 69%.

Foreign direct investment in developing countries fell by a comparatively moderate 12%. China, featured on this list, actually saw its inflows rise slightly, up 4%.

In the European Union, FDI fell by two-thirds, according to the report, while the United Kingdom did not see any new inflows. Great Britain is particularly badly affected by the coronavirus.

China managed to get the coronavirus largely under control within its borders last year, despite being the first nation to be affected by the deadly disease.

Strict lockdown measures, early mass testing, and an abundance of personal protective equipment have been blamed for the relatively low death toll in the country.

Since the pandemic began, China has had fewer than 100,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and has suffered around 4,800 deaths from the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In the US, with a much smaller population, there have been nearly 25 million cases and more than 400,000 deaths.

Although China outperformed the US in FDI in 2020, the total foreign investment inventory in the US is still much larger than it is in China, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Other economic data also suggest that China has borne the brunt of the pandemic more nimbly than its peers. Beijing posted GDP growth of 2.3% in 2020 earlier this month and is expected to be the only major economy to show a positive annual growth rate.

The United Nations report comes a day before China’s President Xi Jinping will address a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum. President Joe Biden is not expected to attend the event.

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