British businesses are still inherently optimistic in the China market, with over half expressing that they had a positive outlook on their sector for 2020 and are investing accordingly. However, businesses also report that it becoming harder to do business in the market, and fewer companies are optimistic compared to last year’s survey results.
Furthermore, over half of British businesses continue to see their operations in China inhibited by market access barriers, and more than a third believe they are not treated equally to domestic firms. The top regulatory challenges facing British businesses this year are:
- Cybersecurity and IT restrictions.
- Accessing and moving company finances.
- Competition with SOEs or state-sponsored competition.
In addition to these challenges, British businesses are also concerned about global economic uncertainty and China’s slowing growth, which they believe will have more of an impact on their operations than the US-China trade war and Brexit. Nevertheless, technological innovations, Chinese outbound investment and China’s sheer market potential are keeping firms committed to the China market.
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The British Business in China: Sentiment Survey 2019-2020 collates the views of 250 British businesses on their outlook on the China market. Companies gave us their thoughts on a range of topics, including their investment plans, the US-China trade war, and the regulatory challenges they face.