On Thursday, a business group warned that China “dynamic zero covid“The policies have left European companies considerably less willing to continue investing in the country.
A survey by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China found that the tone among European businesses in the country had soured since January, when a poll found broad optimism and plans for further investment.
“We had a double setback in February and March with the invasion of Ukraine and the Covid Blocksand it had an incredible impact, “said Joerg Wuttke, Speaker of the House.
The survey, conducted from 20 to 26 April, provides new data on how increasingly visible supply chain problems caused by the Chinese blockade of Covid-19, including disruptions to trucking services and plant closures, are damaging the competitiveness of the country as a global production center and as a magnet for Western investments and technology transfers.
Premier Li Keqiang said cities and provinces should seek to minimize local economic disruption due to their Covid measures. Mr. Wuttke, the most visible leader of China’s overseas business community, has been a critic in the last few weeks of the economic turmoil.
He claims that China is so proud of its previous success in controlling the virus that, unlike other countries in the region such as Singapore and South Korea, it refuses to accept a path to living with the virus.
“They are prisoners of their own narrative,” he recently he told a Swiss newspaper.
China’s Covid measures interfered with the supply chains of 92% of companies that responded to the House survey, which had 372 respondents. Blockades in dozens of cities and other measures have made China a less attractive place to invest for more than three-quarters of businesses, he found.
Foreign business surveys are among the few indicators of broader corporate sentiment in China on political issues. The Chinese government severely limits independent polls on sensitive political issues, such as the country’s current “zero dynamic Covid” policy.
Two fifths of the European companies surveyed are located in or near Shanghai. Another quarter is in or around Beijing, which was starting to block some neighborhoods in the final days of the survey.
The overwhelming majority – 91% – of companies who responded to the survey said China should focus less on blocking than on vaccinating the entire population. Older residents, particularly those over 80, are the adults least likely to be vaccinated in China, even though they are the most vulnerable to the virus.
The survey also found that 82% of respondents wanted China to allow people with mild or symptom-free Covid cases to recover at home. China requires infected people to move to hospitals or makeshift isolation facilities in convention centers or other large buildings.