UK Businesses Threaten to Pull Out of China Over Protectionism

From the Daily Telegraph, by Malcolm Moore in Shanghai and Peter Foster in Beijing:

Faced with regulations that are often impossible to meet and a climate of overwhelming protectionism, many said they are now openly considering whether to leave the world’s biggest market.

“We are bracing ourselves for departures this year from UK businesses, some of which are starting to question the economics of continuing to do in China,” said one diplomatic source. He added that the insurance and financial services sectors were particularly angry as profits and market share failed to materialise in the face of regulatory obstruction.

However, almost every sector has been hit by new requirements that aim to force foreign companies out and boost the country’s domestic players.

In the wake of Google’s decision to stand up to the Chinese government, other firms have
complained of a witch-hunt against foreigners that has targeted British, American and European companies with intellectual property theft, blocked market access, rigged tender processes and the deliberately inconsistent enforcement of regulations.

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