In spite of an economy that worsened in the first three quarters of 2019, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang recently invited overseas multinational companies to invest in China. On October 18, Li met with representatives from BMW, Airbus, Sanofi, Emerson Electric, Schneider Electric, and Rolls-Royce Holdings. He told them that Beijing will deal with its economic difficulties and he welcomed the world’s manufacturing companies to invest in China. On October 16, in Beijing, Li met with Greenberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the US-China Business Council. Li once again said, “We welcome companies from all over the U.S. to expand investment cooperation with China.” On October 14, during his visit to Shaanxi, Li visited South Korea’s Samsung in China. Li said that China treats domestic and foreign companies in China equally and “welcomes the opportunity for companies from all over the world to share the development opportunities in China.”
According to a commentary article Epoch Times published, the speeches on foreign investment that Li gave in the past five days underlined a domestic economic downturn. The article also summarized the current state of the top private business owners in China indicating the tough business environment that private owners in China have had to deal with. This environment has resulted in a serious lack of confidence among them:
1) Xiao Jianhua, a Chinese-Canadian businessman and billionaire, who is the owner of Tomorrow Holdings, is known for managing assets for members of China’s Crown Prince Party. He was abducted to Mainland China in 2017.
2) Wu Xiaohui, the former chairman and chief executive of Anbang Insurance Group, was one of the largest insurers in China. In May 2018 China confiscated $85.7 billion of his assets and sentenced him to 18 years in prison based on charges of fraud and embezzlement.
3) Ye Jianming, founder and former Chairman of China Energy Company Limited, has been under investigation in China since March 2018 on charges of bribery.
4) Wang Jian, Chairman of the HNA group, died from a fall while he was vacationing in France in July 2018.
5) Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba, resigned on September 10.
6) On September 19, Ma Huateng stepped down as the legal representative of Tencent Credit.
7) On September 20, Liu Chuanzhi, the chairman of Lenovo, stepped down as the legal representative and director of the company.
Source: Epoch Times, October 27, 2019