China

(People's Republic of China)

Chinese flag

China’s tremendous size and rate of economic growth have made it the top global investment destination and the second largest economy of the world after the USA, and it is predicted to regain its historical status as the world’s largest economy sometime after 2025.

Traditionally an agrarian society, it has a very high rate of urbanisation. Almost 100 of its cities have a population of over 1 million, presenting business opportunities on an unimaginable scale. While foreign business is heavily represented in the most well-known cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong, with fierce competition for contracts, most other cities, and especially those in the interior, present a vast array of untapped business.

However, doing business with China is also fraught with difficulties. Scams targeting foreign businesses are rife and many companies have lost huge sums through poorly conceived investment and marketing strategies.

The protection of intellectual property rights is a major concern, with many cases of theft by joint venture partners and other entities, but since 2009 the government has shown an increasing willingness to address this, particularly as Chinese companies develop their own intellectual property rights. A lack of transparency in the award of government contracts and political interference in the finance and legal systems present further problems, affecting foreign and Chinese companies alike.

Contrary to the popular perception of homogeneity, there are vast cultural, political and economic differences between the different regions of China. Among others, this notably includes a far stronger mercantilist culture south of the Yellow river. Most Chinese are highly nationalistic, a sentiment derived from the injured pride at being “subjugated by culturally inferior” Western and Japanese powers in the 19th century, but while this has occasionally erupted into tensions, it generally presents no threat to foreigners in the country. Chinese culture places a strong emphasis on hospitality and is exceedingly welcoming to foreign visitors.

 

Population: c. 1,336,720,000
Capital City: Beijing
Government: Republic, Single Party State
Languages: Mandarin Chinese (official), Chinese Dialects, other
GDP per capita (PPP): $7,600
Growth Rate Fluctuation Range: 6%-11% per annum

 

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