CGCC 2023 Annual Business Survey Report on Chinese Enterprises in the U.S.
About the Business Survey
This year marks the 10th anniversary of CGCC’s survey report, which details the experiences and sentiments of Chinese companies in the U.S. based on first-hand responses from 101 companies and a select number of executive interviews. Aside from the most recent performances and status of companies in 2022, this year’s report expands the timeframe to the previous decade. It also overlaps with the volatile and splendid 10-year journey of most Chinese companies entering the United States.
2023 Survey Key Findings
Company performances stabilize and slowly recover from disruptions since the pandemic.
- Compared to the 2022 survey results, only 42% of companies reported year-over-year revenue growth, and 13% experienced a revenue decline of more than 20% of those surveyed.
- 35% expect their U.S. revenues to remain flat over the next two years; 19% expect revenue to decline over the next two years; and the overall percentage of companies expecting lower revenues was 5% higher than last year’s survey.
- Compared to the tough situation shown in the 2021 survey, the 2023 result shows improvement. However, it is still far from the high point five years ago when economic and diplomatic relations were more favorable.
Tensions in U.S.- China relations and persistent inflation are top concerns for Chinese companies in the U.S.
- This year 81% of respondents are concerned with the bilateral tension between the U.S. and China; 68% show concerns over the inflation in the U.S. and the impact on the economic environment.
- 44% of companies predict further deterioration in U.S.- China relations while 83% report that inflation and economic uncertainty has already had a negative impact on their business.
Chinese companies are mostly satisfied with the U.S. market and have developed localization strategies to maximize business growth
- Over 80% of Chinese companies are satisfied (or neutral) with all aspects of the U.S. business environment. Of these, 58% are very satisfied with the U.S. support for innovation, technology, and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) concerns.
- While most companies report that they have largely or fully met their motivation for establishing a presence in the U.S., approximately 20% of companies report that actual growth has been lower than expected, while an additional 50% report that U.S. profitability is lower than their Chinese parent companies.
Past up and down cycles help Chinese companies cope with short-term fluctuations
- In the “up” market cycle, “new business areas and portfolio expansion” are the top strategic priorities adopted by Chinese companies.
- During the “down” cycle, 65% of respondents choose to “aggressively change their core business strategies”, while 54% of respondents vote to “explore new business opportunities” to offset the pressure.
Advice for Chinese Companies in U.S.
Leverage the current downturn to enhance and fortify your operations and capabilities. Chinese companies in the U.S. should take advantage of the slumping market and allocate greater attention and resources to improving their internal strengths, especially since the opportunity cost of doing so is currently lower than it would be in a bull market. This is especially true for Chinese companies operating in the U.S.
Doing so to make diversification a more effective way to offset pressure on main business. Given its priority for Chinese companies in the U.S., identifying new businesses with a rational and proven approach is an essential skill. Given the high failure rate and challenges of diversifying the main business, however, it is important to understand the risks and difficulties of entering a new line of business.
Not only will this strengthen local business in the U.S., but it can improve the overall performance of global operations.
As localization evolves, doing so will help to overcome inflation and ongoing staff shortages of qualified employees. We recommend Chinese companies in the U.S. wholly embrace digitalization, automation, and artificial intelligence technologies to overcome staffing shortages and increase efficiency.
Consider “regional expansion” into Mexico and Canada to further bolster U.S. operations.