China\'s outbound direct investments hit 13.4 billion US dollars during the first four months of 2011, up 17.5% year-on-year, according to the spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) Yao Jian. This brought China\'s cumulative outbound non-financial direct investments to 272.2 billion US dollars as of the end of April, Yao said. About 4.2 billion US dollars, or 31.3% of China\'s total outbound direct investments over the past four months, were channeled into company mergers, he said. The country\'s overseas contracted projects brought in 24.88 billion US dollars in revenues during the same period, up 7.8% year-on-year, according to Yao. The value of new contracts stood at 43.66 billion US dollars, up 19.2% from one year earlier, Yao said. About 775,000 Chinese laborers were stationed overseas by the end of April this year, nearly 22,000 less than in the same period last year, according to Yao. This is partly due to recent unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, which resulted in the evacuation of thousands of Chinese nationals.