US probes of Chinese firms affect operations, hurt confidence: MOFCOM
Published: Jan 30, 2024 07:31 PM
Commerce Ministry

Commerce Ministry

The US side has repeatedly conducted surprise probes of Chinese-funded companies, disturbing Chinese businesses and businesspeople, seriously affecting normal business operations, and undermining the confidence of Chinese companies in investing in the US, a spokesperson of China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Tuesday.

This remark was made in response to media reports that a Chinese-funded company's North American office had been subjected to on-site searches by relevant US authorities.

The US frequently conducts investigations under various security pretexts, broadening so-called security and political issues, and such moves will affect bilateral economic and trade ties and will eventually backfire on the US economy and its own consumers,Chinese experts said.

The US Department of Homeland Security recently executed a search warrant at the Ohio-based US subsidiary of Qingdao Sunsong, a Chinese automobile parts manufacturer that a congressional committee has accused of "trade fraud."

In another move, several US lawmakers once again invoked so-called security concerns to launch a probe into the Swedish-Swiss multinational engineering giant ABB Group's operations in China, which experts said is a typical case of politicizing normal business activities by US lawmakers.

The main investigation focuses on Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co, with ABB becoming involved because it's a sub-supplier to the Chinese state-owned manufacturer of container cranes, Bloomberg reported on January 19, citing a letter from the US Congress.

In responding to recent intensified ill-intended moves by the US, the MOFCOM spokesperson urged the US to immediately cease its harassment of Chinese companies and businesspeople, and provide them with a safe, transparent and fair business environment.

China will closely monitor the situation and firmly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and citizens, the spokesperson noted.

Undoubtedly, this will affect foreign companies' confidence in the US business environment, experts said. When Chinese companies do business with their American counterparts, they will surely have concerns, leading to the possible loss of cooperation opportunities for US companies, Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Moreover, experts said that the US move will intensify its "decoupling" from China, as a vital trading partner, which will also result in higher commodity costs for US consumers.

The core of the US investigations is a type of trade protectionism. It is entirely unrelated to global resource allocation and the so-called security risks, but represents the politicization of normal economic activities, Hu Qimu, a deputy secretary-general of the digital-real economies integration Forum 50, told the Global Times in a previous interview.

This not only hinders the global economic recovery but also backfires on the development of American industries, Hu said.