China, the champion of free trade, is facing a backlash with European firms claiming it is increasingly tough to conduct business in the country amid favours given to domestic firms.
A survey by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China revealed that 80 percent of those polled said market access barriers were the worst form of imbalance in EU-China business relations.
Many complained that environmental regulations were more strongly enforced against foreign firms.
Respondents accused the government in Beijing of limiting their access to the market in favour of domestic companies.
However, on the foreign front, the Chinese President Xi Jinping – calling for the world to reject protectionism and promote free trade – indicated that China will take up the mantle of the leader of globalization amid an outcry over US President Donald Trump favouring protectionism.
It appears THAT China wants everything
its own way.
According to the survey, half of the 570 respondents that took part said they felt less welcomed in China than when they first came to the Asian nation.
Once considered Beijing’s most welcomed guests, foreign companies have now simply fallen out of favour some said.
This situation is made more stringent for the foreign multinational corporations or MNC’s as the United States promotes protectionism under the Trump administration.
“But often, the government’s rhetoric didn’t match the realities on the ground,” the survey concluded said an AFP report.
Only 4 percent of those polled saw a significant opening of the Chinese market for foreign companies.
Shen Danyang, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce accused some foreign corporates last September of only wanting to make “quick money”, had become too dependent on preferential government policies in China, and were starting to feel the pain of what he called a “deteriorating environment for business” in the country.