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China’s 2023 Spring Foreign Trade Orders Dropped by 40 Percent

Well-known Chinese news site NetEase (NASDAQ: NTES) recently reported that China’s foreign trade orders for the spring of 2023 dropped by 40 percent overall, of this total, traditional products dropped by more than 50 percent. Business owners are still going abroad to attract more orders, but the results are getting more and more disappointing. The Americans are gradually decoupling from China economically. For many years in the past, China has been the largest supplier of the United States, maintaining a long-term surplus. In the European market, due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, Europeans are also living a tight life. Also, in most respects, Europe is still following the United States’ lead on China policy. Under the collective influence of the EU and the U.S., Singapore has replaced Hong Kong as the Asian financial center. The countries under the Belt and Road Initiative mainly focus on investment; currently they have no ability to replace the European and the U.S. markets. After the Chinese New Year, many factories stopped recruiting workers, and those who are still recruiting, raised the threshold, chanting the slogan, “No more than 35 years old.” In important ports, such as Shanghai, Tianjin, Ningbo, etc., a large number of empty containers are piled up like mountains. Since the second half of 2022, the Shanghai’s export container freight index has plummeted by more than 80 percent. China relies on foreign trade to maintain the employment of nearly 200 million people.

Source: NetEase, March 1, 2023