Heading into 2016, some expected a sharp decline in China’s economic growth. So far, China has avoided a hard landing and continues to meet its modified growth targets, but the slowdown is clearly real. As China adjusts to its “new normal,” business leaders remain anxious about the long term prospects of the world’s second largest economy. Concerned about lagging structural reforms, high corporate debt ratios, stock market volatility, and hesitant policy responses, market sentiment is softening, and uncertainty prevails. Slowing growth has also reduced American corporate profits, but China is still the most attractive emerging market in the world, and most companies have decided to stay – at least for now. The US-China Business Council’s (USCBC) Annual Membership Survey captures how American companies view the changing business environment and are responding to this challenge.
The survey’s data reveals the difficult position of American business leaders operating in China. While nearly 20 percent of respondents expect their revenue to decline in the coming year, 90 percent say their business remains profitable and that China continues to be a priority market. On October 20, 2016, USCBC President John Frisbie presented the survey’s key findings, in a discussion with National Committee President Stephen Orlins.