28 Oct Economic Nationalism in China
How is the business environment in China changing under President Xi Jinping? How should firms handle their operations in China? On Tuesday, 28th October, Mr. Steve Vickers, Chief Executive Officer for Steve Vickers & Associates Ltd shared his thoughts on “Economic Nationalism in China” at a public seminar, organised by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.
Change in leadership style
China’s current leader, President Xi Jinping, embodies a more assertive and stronger China. This has been reflected in the country’s government mechanisms and policies. Mr. Vickers shed light on the various political tools used by President Xi to consolidate power and weaken other power centres in the political system – currently, a prominent tool is the nation-wide anti-corruption campaign. However, Mr Vickers cautioned that President Xi’s hard line on corruption may destabilise the central, provincial and local governments.
The business environment
Companies may find China an increasingly complex place to operate. A recent American Chamber survey revealed that 49 percent of US firms felt they are treated unfairly in China. Mr. Vickers argued that the recent scandals and allegations involving foreign enterprises may be a concerted effort to remove foreign competition and protect local brands. Foreign firms have also increasingly fallen under harsh scrutiny by the Chinese media, effectively swaying public opinion against many companies.
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Photo Credit: Steve Vickers & Associates Ltd