Sentiment Survey Presented to BritCham Shanghai Members

Published on 2020-12-11

On the morning of 11 December, the Shanghai launch of the British Business in China: Sentiment Survey 2020-2021 was held at The University of Manchester China Centre.

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St. John Moore, chair of the British Chamber of Commerce in China, shared with Shanghai members the key findings of the survey, highlighting the optimism and resilience of British companies in the face of the pandemic and growing geopolitical challenges. 

A lively panel discussion followed with BritCham Shanghai Chair Rosie Hawes, Vice Chairman Ray Chisnall and Co-chair of the Legal & Compliance Committee Alex Roberts discussing the state of the Chinese economy and British business in China. The panel was moderated by James Dunn, Executive Director of BritCham Shanghai. 

The panel talked broadly about the impact of the pandemic on the Chinese economy and foreign business operations in China, exchanging views and insights on various key challenges identified in the survey. Continued concern over cybersecurity and difficulties navigating IT restrictions and state-backed competition remain central priorities for the majority of British companies in China. 

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The panel then moved on to discuss recent market openings and the limited commercial opportunities generated for British companies, and insufficient impact of the Foreign Investment Law in improving the operating environment for foreign firms. 

Each member of the panel also took time to share their perspectives on the impact of UK-China tensions on British companies, as well as the implications of a new US-China policy under the Biden administration.

Despite the challenges, China remains among their top priority markets for the majority of companies. More than half of British businesses would increase their investment in China if greater market access were granted to foreign companies. As a sector that is simultaneously one of the most restricted while also one that has seen the most opening, 70% of British financial services companies would respond to continued liberalisation with more investment. This is certainly a positive indication that market openings are welcome by British businesses and will be met with further investment and job creation if more restrictions on market access are lifted.

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The findings of the Sentiment Survey will help inform the chamber’s advocacy work next year in order to improve the business environment. We look forward to presenting the findings on behalf of our members to the British and Chinese governments as we continue to push for a more level playing field for British businesses in China. 

Since its publication on Tuesday, international and domestic media have been reporting on the findings of the British Business in China: Sentiment Survey 2020-2021. Please click here to view more details (from WeChat: BritChamBJ). 

To download the report, please scan the QR code below.

中文版本(16.61mb)

 sentiment survey (CHI) QR code

English version (3.36mb)

sentiment survey (ENG) QR code