Despite Marriott gaffe, China’s business climate unaltered

By Liu Lulu Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/14 23:13:40

Marriott International's gaffe regarding China's sovereignty has been thrust into the media limelight recently. The Shanghai municipal government's decision to suspend the hotel chain's Chinese website and mobile app for a week is justified. However, some Western media outlets deliberately connect the issue with the business environment that foreign enterprises face in China.

It's an international consensus that foreign firms should respect China's territorial integrity and sovereignty, adhere to Chinese law and take Chinese people's feelings into account, which are the foundation for any corporation doing business in any country. China's opposition to separatist moves is known to all and its response to Marriott's listing Taiwan and Tibet as separate countries has nothing to do with China's business environment.

Investing and doing business in China, foreign enterprises are clear about China's policies, but some Western media outlets have still taken advantage of the Marriott case to allege China's business environment has deteriorated. They insist that China is making an example out of Marriott's mistake. This, in essence, ignores China's concerns over its sovereignty and territorial integrity as a unified multi-ethnic country and only reflects the Western media's political arrogance.

Chinese firms may make similar mistakes as well. For instance, China Southern Airlines Holding Company and Air China were found to have listed Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao as separate countries on their official websites. These enterprises are treated the same by the Chinese government and the public. Marriott does not face a particular consequence because of its background as a foreign firm.

Admittedly, there are voices in China accusing foreign companies of making money here but in the meantime not respecting China's territorial integrity. It's an undeniable fact that there are nationalist sentiments among certain Chinese netizens. But radical voices on the internet cannot be regarded as signals of political changes in the country. US President Donald Trump often makes headlines for his sensational and radical tweets, but can his tweets be taken as a sign of the changing mood of the US? Obviously not.

China welcomes foreign firms to do business in the country, and has been endeavoring to create a more favorable business environment for them. Instead of throwing mud at China's business environment by deliberately connecting it with the Marriott case, Western media outlets should pay more attention to China's efforts to attract foreign capital, as this is what objective and fair reporting should be.

Posted in: OBSERVER

blog comments powered by Disqus