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CNA: Far Fewer U.S. Companies Are Optimistic about Future Business in China

Primary Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported that, according to a report just released by the US-China Business Council, due to factors such as strict Covid control measures and rising geopolitical tensions, the proportion of U.S. companies that are optimistic about China’s business prospects for the next five years has plummeted from nearly 90 percent 10 years ago to barely more than half as much now. This is a new all-time low. The report is based on interviewing the Council’s 117 member companies, most of whom are large multinational companies headquartered in the United States that have operated in China for more than 20 years. The survey found that optimism about the business outlook in China for the next five years among respondents has fallen sharply. It fell by 18 percentage points this year, to an all-time low of 51 percent. Comparing China’s current business environment with three years ago, 83 percent of the companies surveyed said they are not as optimistic now as they used to be. This represents an increase of 24 percentage points compared to last year. At the same time, the proportion who felt pessimistic doubled last year’s number to 21 percent, a record high. The report pointed out that, given the long-term impact and uncertainties caused by the tension between China and the United States, the surveyed companies believe that geopolitical factors will have the greatest impact on the outlook, including China’s Covid control policies as well as technology regulations. This annual report also details the top ten challenges faced by American businessmen in China. The lockdown policy replaces Sino-US relations as the number one challenge this year. Around 96 percent of the companies surveyed have suffered heavy losses due to the government’s Covid control measures.

Source: CNA, August 30, 2022