US businesses are not leaving the Chinese market despite "an unprecedented downturn" in US-China relations during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an annual member survey released Tuesday by the US-China Business Council (USCBC).
"Both our data as well as conversations with member companies indicate that American companies remain committed to the China market over the long term," said the survey.
The USCBC is a trade group representing more than 200 US companies that do business with China, reports Xinhua .
Eighty-three percent of companies counted China as either the top or among the top five priorities for their company's global strategy, showed the survey, which was conducted in late May and June this year, among more than 100 USCBC member companies.
Projections about the five-year business outlook in China are similarly sanguine, with nearly 70 per cent expressing that they are optimistic about the commercial prospects of the market, according to the survey.
Ninety-one percent of companies indicate their China operations are profitable, albeit at a lower margin than in years past, the survey showed, noting that the primary restraint on profitability is COVID-19 and its impact on the economy.
As a result of this long-term confidence in the China market, 87 per cent of companies reported no plans to shift production out of China, the survey noted, adding that some companies are seeking potential new investment.
One quarter of USCBC member companies, however, have reduced or stopped planned investment in China in the last year, the survey showed, with the top reasons being increased costs, uncertainties from US-China trade tensions, and uncertainty stemming from COVID-19.
The annual survey also noted that the US-China relationship poses the top challenge for US companies in China for the third consecutive year, as 86 per cent of USCBC members report that bilateral trade tensions have impacted their business with China.