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CGCC 2021 Annual Business Survey Report

On Chinese Enterprises In The U.S.

Inspiring the path forward for Chinese business and investments in the U.S.

The business operations and investments of Chinese companies in the United States were severely challenged in 2020, which was an unusually volatile year amid COVID-related disruptions and uncertainties in U.S.-China relations. It’s also encouraging to see that Chinese companies have generally responded well to the pandemic’s dual role as an accelerator of transformation and amplifier of disruptive forces.

Beyond capital and production investments, Chinese companies are seeking to strengthen their long-term competitiveness in the U.S. market through effective legal compliance, stronger brand recognition, better use of technology, and streamlining business operations. Compared to previous years, the Chinese companies surveyed expressed their greater optimism about the direction of the bilateral relationship and economic cooperation going forward, anticipating a more predictable and stable U.S. business environment.

Demographics of Surveyed Companies

In total, 183 companies responded to the survey. These respondents operate across a broad range of sectors; 12 companies operate in multiple sectors. The majority (59%) of respondents are not owned by publicly traded companies; of those that are listed (41%), they are mainly listed in Asian markets. Only a small minority (9%) of companies operating in the U.S. are already listed or planning on going public in the U.S. soon.


Varying sector impacts of COVID-19

Respondents suggested revenue and profitability suffered in 2020 due to a tougher business environment in the U.S., primarily related to COVID-19. The pandemic’s impact was negative for most but varied by sector.


Positive changes that will endure

While COVID-19 caused detrimental effects, it catalyzed many companies to make positive, long-lasting changes, including accelerating digital investments, product innovation and customer engagement.


Sustained parent companies’ commitment to the U.S.

Respondents reported that their parent companies continue to see the an integral part of their global strategy and commit to a sustainable, long-term U.S. strategic presence.


Investments in branding and understanding

Surveyed Chinese companies continue to invest in elevating their brands, as part of a continuation of their U.S. operations and access to the U.S. capital markets.


Continued enhancements to compliance

Chinese companies reported they are prioritizing strengthening their compliance systems and procedures to navigate what is perceived to be a complex legal and regulatory environment in the U.S.


Optimistic outlook of the U.S. business environment

Looking forward, respondents indicated they are more optimistic about the overall U.S. operating and economic environment than last year, as well as the U.S.-China relationship.

Advice for Chinese companies operating in the U.S.

In reflecting on their experiences of operating in the U.S. in recent years, surveyed company executives identified the following key points to share with other Chinese companies, including:

Stay focused

Invest in industries that you are the most familiar with and fully analyze the feasibility of each project, including resources, industry, U.S. policy, etc.


- JN Fibers

Watch for emerging risks

Strengthen management’s awareness of risks and mitigations, be aware of the U.S. regulatory environment and be ready to respond.



Leverage opportunities

Be aware of the abundance of resources in the U.S.



- Sinopec

Maintain regulatory compliance

Compliance should be a top priority; seek the right internal and external resources and constantly enhance compliance capabilities.


- Bank of China U.S.A.

Localize strategies

Understanding the U.S. consumer market is key, because consumer tastes vary greatly from state-to-state.


- Karma Automotive

Engage your local community

Continue to be a proactive and responsible community member.


- Bank of China U.S.A.

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