The merger and acquisition (M&A) of Carlyle and Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group (XCMG) is an important takeover case between a foreign corporation and a leading Chinese enterprise in recent years that deserves the special attention of researchers interested in the Chinese political economy. This case involves multiple actors and a complicated institution environment. For the agreement to be reached, this M&A case required the approval of Xuzhou municipality, Jiangsu province and the central government of China. Regulatory authorities such as the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC), National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Department of Foreign Investment Administration and Ministry of Commerce of China were also actively involved in the process. Moreover, the M&A activity of Carlyle–XCMG took place in the context of an important shift in China’s development strategy from “market in exchange for technology” to “independent innovation”. In accommodating the shift, the state administration adjusted its development-oriented ideologies towards “independent innovation”, which had had an impact on the M&A case of Carlyle and XCMG.