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RFI: U.S. Companies’ Confidence in the Chinese Market Declines to Record Low

Optimism among U.S. companies operating in China has hit a “record low” according to a Radio France Internationale (RFI) Chinese Edition report on a survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Shanghai. More and more companies are seeking to withdraw investment from China even as the Chinese government is taking measures to boost the country’s sluggish economy.

The AmCham report stated that, after years of pandemic disruption and restrictions, 2023 was supposed to be a year of rebound in investor confidence and optimism. However, the Chamber’s 2023 survey of U.S. companies in China found that such a rebound has not materialized and business confidence has continued to deteriorate.

In addition to poor economic conditions, tensions between Beijing and Washington have also put heavy pressure on U.S. companies operating in China. The report indicated that respondents’ optimism about the next five years is the lowest on record: only 52 percent of companies, a decrease of three percentage points from the previous year, expressed optimism about their prospects for that time period. When asked about the top three challenges they face, 60 percent of the 325 surveyed companies mentioned that US-China relations were a significant challenge, and 60 percent of respondents mentioned economic slowdown as one of the top three headwinds. Around 40 percent of companies are planning to move or have already moved capital out of China, an increase of six percentage points over last year. Southeast Asia is the most popular alternative destination to which U.S. companies are moving their production and capital.

Source: RFI Chinese, September 19, 2023