Foreign firms in China: You’re still welcome

29 Gennaio 2015
Paese:  Cina Fonte: 

THE bosses of foreign firms with operations in China grumble that their lives have got harder of late. China used to be a frontier market offering endless double-digit growth. Officials put out the welcome mat, and were open to wining and dining. Regulators were no more bothersome than in other emerging markets.Now, growth is slowing: official data released this week confirm that the economy grew by 7.4% last year, the slowest rate in 24 years. A crackdown on official corruption has made it impossible to win friends in government. And antitrust authorities have taken a tough line with foreign carmakers, drugmakers and other firms that had hoped their guanxi (connections) offered them protection. Many foreign bosses are now convinced that the golden age for multinationals in China is over.That may explain the charm offensive the government launched this week. The prime minister, Li Keqiang, led a delegation of Chinese worthies to the World Economic Forum’s meeting in Davos, Switzerland. He promised the assembled global business elite his country would “treat Chinese and foreign companies as equals” and “rigorously reject…

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