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2023-06-21 | All chapters

European Chamber Report Finds Significant Deterioration of Business Confidence in China

Beijing, 21st June 2023 – The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, in partnership with Roland Berger, today released its European Business in China Business Confidence Survey 2023 (BCS). The annual survey shows that there has been a significant deterioration of business sentiment.

Faced with growing risks and a more volatile operating environment, European companies have started reviewing their investment and operational strategies, and ensuring their supply chains are fit for more uncertain conditions.

  • 64% of respondents reported that doing business in China became more difficult in the past year, the highest on record.
  • 30% of respondents reported year-on-year (y-o-y) revenue decreases, an increase of 20 percentage points, and the highest on record.
  • 11% of respondents have shifted existing investments out of China, and 8% have taken the decision move future investments previously planned for China elsewhere.
  • One in ten report they have already shifted, or plan to shift, their Asia headquarters (HQ) or business unit HQ out of Mainland China.
  • There has been a 13-percentage point reduction y-o-y in the number of respondents that view China as a top-three destination for future investments.
  • 75% have reviewed their supply chain strategies over the past two years, with 24% reporting plans to at least partially onshore their supply chains into Mainland China and 12% having already shifted parts of them out of the country.

Decoupling of HQ and China operations has increased primarily to manage risk, with nearly three quarters of respondents having localised IT and data storage infrastructure. Significant localisation of company staff has also taken place over the last half decade, with 16% reporting their China operations no longer employ any foreign nationals.

These developments come at a considerable cost to companies and to China. The need to create divergent systems for China and the rest of the world means that the overall efficiency brought by global economies of scale is lost; and the reduction of foreign nationals is resulting in reduced transfer of knowhow and best practices, communication difficulties, deferred investment plans, and even China operations being closed.    

“The negative trends we see in this year’s survey are concerning and reflect both recent challenges—brought by uncertainties in China’s policy environment and rising geopolitical tensions—and the persistence of long-standing market access barriers,” said Jens Eskelund, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. “For China to turn the tide and allow European companies to develop and contribute to their full potential, we really need to see concrete action.”

“Unless further steps are taken to address the uncertainties confronting companies, then the trend of supply chain diversification is likely to strengthen in the medium-term,” said Denis Depoux, global managing director of Roland Berger. “Many European companies are now focusing more on how to make their China operations more durable instead of capturing greater market share, which is not good for competition.”

Download the report here.





  • 64%受访企业表示过去一年在华运营难度增加,这一比例为历史最多。
  • 30%受访企业表示其营收同比下降,同比增加了20个百分点,为历史新高。
  • 11%受访企业已将对华投资转移至其他市场,8%受访者已变更未来对华投资决策并将资金转投至其他市场。
  • 十分之一受访企业表示已经或计划将其亚洲总部或业务部门总部迁出中国大陆。
  • 视中国为未来投资目的地前三的受访企业同比降低13个百分点。
  • 75%受访企业曾在过去两年重新审视其供应链策略。其中24%受访企业表示计划至少将部分供应链转移至中国境内,12%表示已将部分供应链转移到中国大陆以外。






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Xinhe Fan