U.S. companies, which have led Western investment in China over the last 35 years, are scaling back their expectations and business plans in the face of slowing growth, heightened competition and increased regulatory scrutiny from Beijing.
“Clearly, there’s moderating optimism,” said John Frisbie, president of the U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC). “There’s also a lot of policy uncertainty in the business community.”
The USCBC estimates U.S. business in China is worth about $350 billion a year, a figure that includes exports, as well as domestic and offshore sales by U.S. affiliates located in China.
That market may be growing at about 10 percent a year, but with China’s top-line gross domestic product growth expected to slow to 7.4 percent this year, the message from executives speaking on the sidelines of an APEC regional summit in Beijing was that many big investors are holding fire on fresh commitments.
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