What Is China’s Post-COVID-19 Business Strategy?

What Is China’s Post-COVID-19 Business Strategy?

China is looking beyond the COVID-19 crisis, eager to recover its economic momentum. But while China intends to position itself as the pandemic’s “victor,” Beijing faces global scrutiny as well as an ongoing trade war with Washington. Will international resentment toward China mean that supply chains and manufacturing begin to steer away from the Asian powerhouse? Or will economic reforms convince foreign investors to stay? To get more China business latest news, you can visit shine news official website.

James McGregor joins the Altamar podcast team of Peter Schechter and Muni Jensen to discuss the intersection of Beijing’s business reforms with its political agenda. McGregor has lived in China for three decades and is the chairman of APCO Worldwide, Greater China. He is the former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China and is now an adviser to AmCham on U.S.-China business trade politics and policy. Previously, McGregor served as The Wall Street Journal’s bureau chief in Taiwan and in Mainland China. He has also authored numerous books on China.

As countries worldwide cautiously reopen their economies from COVID-19 lockdowns, China has been ahead of the curve. “They’re seeing consumption recover domestically … they’re traveling again, people are back in the offices again, supply chains are fairly strong domestically,” says McGregor.

Expediting China’s recovery, President Xi Jinping has pursued a two-pronged strategy: Firstly, it aims to bolster its reputation by engaging in so-called health diplomacy, donating millions of dollars’ worth of PPE and medical devices to nations around the world.

Secondly, China has made moves to improve its business environment for foreigners. McGregor predicts that “we’ll see some significant reforms going forward because China is in dire need right now of keeping its economy going, of holding on to foreign business, and also keeping supply chains as strong as it can.” The private sector is taking note: “Companies that are involved in high-end manufacturing and in future technology, whether it’s robotics, AI, self-driving cars, electric vehicles, people that supply components and chemicals … they’re doubling down in China,” as a result of new economic incentives, says McGregor. It’s not all good news for Beijing, however. China faces a bipartisan diplomatic and commercial dispute with the United States. McGregor is less than optimistic about this standoff: “I think there’s going to be two losers actually, or maybe the whole globe will be a loser … I think right now, we’re looking at two development models, which are very different, and political DNA that’s very different.

“I think we’re going to have to find an accommodation, you don’t have to love who you deal with, you’ve just got to figure out how to deal with them.” Indeed, McGregor believes the U.S. should focus more on innovation and industrial strategies than trying to stymie China’s progress: “My view on the U.S. trying to block China? The best defense is a good offense. We should be competing.”

But the U.S. is not alone. Mistrust of China is widespread. It’s a pattern that has Chinese companies worried, particularly “those with global ambition and global businesses … because China is at the point where it wants its companies to go global, and today, China is universally distrusted around the world.”


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