Foreign firms shouldn’t heed slandering of China’s recovery
Published: Jun 09, 2022 10:13 PM
Illustration: Tang Tengfei/Global Times

Illustration: Tang Tengfei/Global Times

The local government in Shanghai plans to hold 20 meetings this month with foreign firms engaged in key industries such as automobiles, trade, semiconductors and biomedicine to discuss production resumption. At the two meetings held so far, foreign companies have expressed strong confidence in China's recovery and their advices in further work resumption have received positive response from relevant authorities, Shanghai's Xinmin Evening News reported.

However, such positive news of China's concrete efforts to help foreign businesses' recovery has been used by some ill-intentioned Western media outlets to hype a business exodus. The Voice of America (VOA) on Thursday claimed that some economic experts are pessimistic about China's efforts and believe that there are many uncertainties. The report also cited Reuters clichéd hype that many expats chose to leave Shanghai, and many foreign companies said they would reconsider their investment plans in China's market.

Such rhetoric targeting China's economy has always existed, and some Western media have never missed any chance to attack China's economy and business environment by playing up pessimism and inciting foreign companies to withdraw from the market. What is behind this hype is sinister attempts to attack the Chinese economy.

It should be pointed out that China has never shied away, and even takes the COVID-19 challenges to its economy more seriously than anyone else. In face of the core issues and difficulties faced by foreign companies amid the Omicron outbreak, such as supply chain disruption and personnel cross-border movements, China has made great efforts to solve specific problems. Shanghai's planned meetings with foreign companies show that China has sincerity to understand the situation of foreign companies and provide solutions to reasonable requests for them. 

In fact, China has been attaching great importance to the development of foreign companies in the Chinese market, and China's unswerving determination to expand opening up to improve the business environment has not changed. In response to the difficulties encountered by foreign companies in resuming production. Wang Shouwen, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce, on Wednesday vowed to roll out a series of measures to help foreign businesses and continue to improve business environment.

At the critical stage of the current full-speed recovery of China's economy, a series of specific measures have already been introduced by local governments, and more measures are planned to help foreign companies make up for the losses suffered during the epidemic. Taking Shanghai as an example, the plan for comprehensively promoting economic recovery released by the local government on May 29 includes measures supporting foreign-funded enterprises to resume production and operation and stabilizing the expectations and confidence of foreign enterprises.

Despite the current headwinds, some surveys showed that a majority of foreign businesses are still opting to remain in China and view the country as an essential market to remain competitive on the global stage. From recruiting more employees to setting up new plants, many foreign companies could not wait to announce plans for increasing investment in Shanghai just days after the Omicron-battered city lifted a two-month lockdown. Dutch chip lithography leader ASML said Monday that all of its projects in China are progressing as scheduled despite epidemic impacts, and it plans to recruit more than 200 employees this year to expand business in the market, according to Chinese news outlet The Paper.

There is every reason to believe that with the introduction of more favorable and support measures for foreign companies to resume production and promote recovery, foreign companies will usher in an even greater opportunity for rapid growth in the Chinese market. Foreign companies should shield themselves from the noise of Western badmouthing targeting China's market and actively seize the opportunity of China's economic recovery. If they follow the naysayers' lead to complain about China market and missed the critical moment of recovery, they will be really regretful when the market is occupied by competitors.

The author is an editor with the Global Times.