WASHINGTON—September 26, 2023—The US-China Business Council (USCBC), a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of 275 American companies that do business in China, today released its annual Member Survey results, which show that challenges stemming from the US-China relationship and China’s domestic policies are hindering more companies’ performance, planning, and prospects in the China market than ever before.
“Our members overwhelmingly report that ongoing tension between the US and China, among other factors, has caused increased uncertainty in the policy environment, leading to missed sales opportunities and delayed or canceled investments,” said USCBC President Craig Allen. “While most of our companies remain profitable in China and are committed to operating there, many are adjusting their businesses in China and taking a more cautious approach to new investments.”
According to survey respondents, the top-three challenges for USCBC member companies in China are:
- US-China relations: Geopolitics or domestic politics
- Data, personal information, and cybersecurity rules
- Export controls, sanctions, and investment screenings
Additionally, the survey also found that:
- China remains a top-five priority market for most (74%) companies.
- Only half (49%) of companies expressed an “optimistic” or “somewhat optimistic” outlook about the future, a new low for the second consecutive year.
- Nearly all (90%) companies believe Chinese industrial policies will negatively impact their company’s market share in China in the next five years.
Since the survey was conducted in early summer, there have been several positive developments:
- First, the two governments have stepped up diplomatic engagements and agreed to establish an information exchange on export controls and a working group on commercial issues, as well as convene technical discussions on strengthening trade secret protection during licensing processes.
- Second, both countries are gradually increasing the number of direct flights between the two countries, which is vital to improving commercial engagement.
- Third, there are signs that Chinese policymakers understand concerns about market access and regulatory compliance issues. In August, the State Council released a “24 measures” document, which focuses on US and foreign business challenges around cross-border data transfers, government procurement, and other policy areas.
“This is a positive signal, but caution is warranted,” the survey report concludes. “USCBC urges Chinese policymakers to ensure that implementation and enforcement of these pledges is timely, fair, and consistent across jurisdictions in China.”
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Editor’s Note on Methodology: This year’s survey was conducted between June and July of 2023 and draws from a pool of 117 member companies. Respondents have significant experience and presence in the China market—two-thirds have operated in China for more than 20 years, and more than one-third generate revenue in China exceeding $1 billion.
Respondents’ top-10 challenges were ranked using a weighted system to reflect the most significant issue they encounter while doing business in China. To ensure consistent analysis over time, the same methodology was used in previous years. Due to rounding, some chart totals may add up to slightly more or less than 100 percent.
- 只有一半（49%）的企业对前景表示“乐观”或“有些乐观”—— 这一比例连续两年突破历史低点。
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