CCTV News: China’s Business Climate
This past Friday, I was a guest on CCTV News Dialogue, talking about the business environment for foreign companies in China, and whether they enjoy an “even playing field” with local Chinese competitors, particularly state-owned enterprises (SOEs). You can watch the show here.
We began by discussing China’s recent move to charge foreign companies the same education and construction surcharges levied on domestic Chinese companies. I reiterated my comments from a few days earlier, in which I said that it is perfectly fair to expect foreign firms to pay the same taxes as their local counterparts, as long as they also are treated the same when it comes to market access, intellectual property protection, government procurement, and other areas. All too often, they aren’t.
We then went on to debate some of the main areas of concern, and whether certain Chinese policies (such as the proposed “indigenous innovation” catalog) are designed to exclude foreign competition and protect Chinese “national champions.” I argued that frequently they are, and that in the long run, this is bad not just for foreign investors, but for China. I noted that there is growing frustration and concern among the foreign business community in China about the direction the country seems to be heading with these policies.