Chinese Super League clubs spent over $450m to secure foreign talent in the last year, causing a 17-fold rise in spending in the last three years. The overall spending last year was two-and-a-half times higher than what they spent in 2015, according to a Fifa report on global transfers.
The spending spree has put Chinese clubs among the top five buyers in the world, behind England (Premier League clubs - $1.37bn), Germany (Bundesliga - $576m), Spain (La Liga - $508.7m) and Italy ($508.5m) in an era where football clubs are spending more than ever.
China has been splashing big money to improve the quality of football in the country following president Xi Jinping's support to initiatives aimed at making the Asian nation a global footballing superpower.
Argentina veteran Carlos Tevez became one of the highest paid footballers in the world after agreeing to a deal with Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua. It is believed that he is set to earn around $760,632 per week in the Asian country. Chelsea star Oscar also left the Premier League club for a reported fee of $75m, which is the fourth-highest amount paid to a Premier League club, and joined Shanghai SIPG, who also secured the services of Brazil's Hulk last year for around $55m.
The Fifa report (Transfer Matching System report) labels that the Chinese spending has "skyrocketed" and that they have moved from 20th position to fifth in three year's time.
"China went from ranking 20th in 2013 to 5th in 2016. The rapid nature of this growth is unprecedented," the report read, as quoted by The Sun.
"As a result of significant transfers of players from Europe to the Chinese Super League, spending by Chinese clubs was the talk of the football world. Their spending skyrocketed to Â£358.1million.
While the report identifies China's willingness to reach the World Cup in the near future as the reason for their spending, the country's General Administration of Sports reportedly said that government will initiate action against "irrational investment" and would "regulate and restrain high-priced signings".