European Companies in China Reported High Risks and High Rewards in 2021 Go back »

2022-06-20 | All chapters

European Companies in China Reported High Risks and High Rewards in 2021

Beijing, 20th June 2022 – The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, in partnership with Roland Berger, today released its European Business in China Business Confidence Survey 2022 (BCS). The annual survey shows that while most European companies in China posted positive revenues and were profitable in 2021, doing business became more difficult for the majority.

As the rest of the world returns to a pre-pandemic level of normality, and China’s stringent COVID-19 policy exacerbates the challenges of doing business, many European Chamber members are questioning just how many eggs they are willing to keep in their China basket.

  • Two thirds of European businesses saw revenue increases during 2021, however doing business also became more difficult year-on-year (y-o-y) for 60%.
  • COVID-19 was the top issue faced by business in 2021, ranking as a top-three challenge for 49%; China’s economic slowdown, a top three issue for 24%, ranked second.
  • 50% reported that the business environment became more politicised in 2021.
  • Regulatory barriers are still resulting in missed business opportunities, with 42% of firms reporting this to be the case.

In response to mounting uncertainty—resulting from both China’s COVID-19 strategy and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—and to minimise their exposure to potential geopolitical shocks, European companies’ China operations are being increasingly siloed. Eight times as many respondents reported plans to onshore supply chains into China as those looking to offshore.

Significant localisation of staff has taken place over the last half decade all the way from junior recruits to board members. IT and data storage infrastructure has also been localised by 74% and 75% of respondents respectively, with this driven by ‘secure and controllable’ technology guidelines and increasingly stringent data governance regulations.

“The only thing predictable about China today is its unpredictability, and that is poisonous for the business environment,” said Bettina Schoen-Behanzin, vice president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. “Increasing numbers of European businesses are putting China investments on hold and re-evaluating their positions in the market as they wait to see how long this uncertainty will continue, and many are looking towards other destinations for future projects.”

“China remains crucial for most European businesses, both as an outlet for products with strong competitive advantage, and as a powerful industrial production base. It is too big and too important to scale down, but a holistic and stable framework is needed,” said Denis Depoux, global managing director of Roland Berger. "The deterioration of internal and external business conditions, with 13% more survey respondents finding business in China more difficult in 2022, even before the Covid resurgence, contrasts with the crucial role of China for them."

Download the report here.

For more information:

Please contact Ms Charlotte SVENSSON, policy and communications coordinator, European Union Chamber of Commerce in China

+86 (10) 6462 2066 ext. 61,

If you have any question about the methodology of this survey, please contact: Ms. Renay Cheng, head of marketing & communication of Roland Berger, China





  • 三分之二的欧洲企业反映 2021 年收入增加,但60%的企业反映营商挑战增加。
  • 2021年在华企业面临的前三大挑战中,49%的受访企业将新冠疫情视为首要难题,中国经济放缓位列第二,有24%的企业反映此问题。
  • 50%的受访企业表示 2021 年的商业环境变得更加政治化。
  • 监管壁垒持续导致企业错失商机,反映该问题的企业达42%。


在过去五年间,众多企业的员工职位——从初级员工到董事会成员——实现了显著的本土化。由于“安全可控”的技术指导方针和日益严格的数据治理法规 ,有75% 的受访企业已将信息技术基础设施和数据存储基础设施本地化。

“今日中国唯一可预测的就是其不可预测性,这对商业环境有弊无利。” 中国欧盟商会副主席许倍帝女士表示,“越来越多的欧洲企业选择搁置在华投资,并重新考量自身在市场所处地位。企业正在观望这种不确定性将持续多久,许多企业也在为未来的项目寻找中国以外的投资目的地。”

“对于大多数欧洲企业而言,中国仍然至关重要。它既是具有巨大竞争优势的产品出口国,又是强大的工业生产基地。中国市场体量庞大,其重要性不可低估,但它需要一个稳定的整体框架。” 罗兰贝格全球管理委员会联席总裁戴璞先生说,“然而,即使在中国新冠疫情再度严重之前,反映2022年在华营商变得更为艰难的受访企业增加了13%。这与中国市场对企业的重要意义形成鲜明对比。”



请联系中国欧盟商会Charlotte SVENSSON女士

+86 (10) 6462 2066 转分机 61,


For more information please contact

Xinhe Fan