In the video below, Motley Fool analyst Blake Bos discusses how the Wanxiang Group has likely won the bidding war for battery maker A123, which went bankrupt after receiving $249 million in federal stimulus money. China's Wanxiang Group is now buying A123 for $257 million. 

Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI) has revoked its bid on A123 and will only bid if the current deal is blocked. Blake is quick to point out that investors should get used to the idea of Chinese companies investing abroad. He explains that there isn't much for them to invest in at home.

Blake then takes us back in history to see how this has happened earlier. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Japan had an enormous amount of cash from asset-priced inflation. They used that money to buy Universal Studios and many other major companies. Later, Japan sold those companies for major losses. 

Looking at history, Johnson Controls should be happy not to have won the bidding war. A123 never made a profit and had $376 million in liabilities. 

Editor's note: In the video, the amounts of A123's federal grant and of Wanxiang's buyout were incorrectly stated. The Fool regrets the error.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.