2022 China Business Sentiment

Author - Jack Simpson

Date published:

The following post is a press release from British Chamber of Commerce in China of their British Business in China: Sentiment Survey.

UK business in China has yet to fully recover from COVID-19, due to travel and regulatory uncertainty.

  • Following on from the challenges of 2020, business optimism in China recovered slightly in 2021.
  • Employing foreign talent has leapfrogged long-standing issues to become the top regulatory challenge facing UK companies in China.
  • Regulatory uncertainty has caused disquiet among UK investors, market reform needed to preserve upticks in optimism.

7th December 2021 – British businesses in China are in the midst of a fragile recovery, the British chambers of commerce in China finds in a survey launched today. The 2021-2022 edition of its British Business in China: Sentiment Survey looks at the outlook of 288 UK companies in the Chinese mainland.

Following the challenges of 2020, optimism towards China has rebounded slightly as the Chinese economy continues to grow and UK companies are continuing to increase investment in China. They see opportunities around technological innovation, China’s economic recovery and China’s 30-60 net-zero goals.

Nevertheless, roughly 40% of companies have yet to reach pre-pandemic revenue levels. Optimism too is still below pre-pandemic levels, and over 60% of companies continue to have found doing business in China more difficult year-on-year. This is primarily driven by a mix of regulatory factors and COVID-19, especially around UK-China travel.

The top three regulatory challenges facing British businesses are:

1. Employing foreign staff

2. Navigating cybersecurity and IT regulations

3. Enforcement of laws and regulations

Challenges bringing existing or new staff into China have worsened over the past year, and half of companies expect to see a net outflow of foreign staff from their China offices next year.

“Companies here are struggling to understand how it may be possible eventually to live with COVID-19 in China and dismantle this new great wall that protects us,” says Julian MacCormac, Chair of the British Chamber of Commerce in China. “Many are beginning to wonder when, and even whether, this can happen. Allowing flows of people and knowledge across borders to resume is vital for further innovation, investment and international exchange.”

The British chambers of commerce in China call for greater market reform, a more predictable business environment and the resumption of direct flights between the UK and China.

The British Chamber of Commerce in China is part of the Global Business Network. This is a dedicated Chamber network to support members in market and find new contacts.

Take a look at our full list of Global Business Network connections.

Global members have full access to the Global Business Network, for more information you can contact [email protected]

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