China’s position as an international hub and attractive investment destination has reached a tipping point, with a noticeable shift in business sentiment. Rising uncertainty as a result of sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks, coupled with a lack of clarity and communication in key legislation and the marginalisation of foreign businesses, is contributing to the erosion of the once stable and relatively predictable business environment in China.
COVID-19 outbreaks continue to disrupt business operations and day to day life, and China’s borders have been all but closed for most travel since March 2020. It is therefore unsurprising that hiring challenges and talent development is one of the key issues facing British businesses. However, British businesses also report difficulties navigating cybersecurity and IT regulations, and in the overall formulation and enforcement of laws and regulations in China. The lack of clarity as regards key concepts, implementation and compliance in major policies and plans is causing rising confusion, undermining business confidence and in some cases, businesses have reported minimising operations as a result in fear of non-compliance.