Chinese year of growth for US companies

4 February 2011
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5 February 2011 | Adam Leach

US businesses in China enjoyed increased revenues and market share in 2010 despite remaining cautious about regulation which favours Chinese firms.

A survey by the American Chamber Of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham Shanghai) has found that 87 per cent of companies had experienced growth in revenues during in 2010, compared to 47 per cent the year before. The number of firms that increased their market share was up to 61 per cent in 2010, from 40 per cent the year before.

Of the 346 firms that took part in the research, more than half (55 per cent) said producing or sourcing goods and services in China for the Chinese market is a primary aim.

The result is in stark contrast to a similar study published a year ago by the American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China (AmCham-China) which found more than half of US firms doing business in the country expected to lose trade as a result of the nation’s proposed “protectionist” procurement rule.

Despite the success, US firms do, however, continue to see China’s “problematic regulatory” climate as a hurdle to business because it puts domestic companies at a distinct advantage over foreign companies.

Finding the right staff and coping with an influx of new competitors, foreign and domestic, were also highlighted as key challenges in the 2010–2011 China Business Report.

President of AmCham Shanghai, Brenda Foster said: “This year’s survey results indicate that US companies in China have come to expect challenges in the China market, have weighed them against the opportunities and have found a way to succeed despite them.

“Nonetheless, it is essential that the US continues to aggressively engage China to address key business challenges that hinder market access today and could impact future investment.”

With more attention being paid to business interests in China, 20 per cent of US companies state that growing their interests in the country is their top priority.

Some 72 per cent said they are designing unique products or services to sell in China. 

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