The quarterly China Beige Book survey of some 2,200 companies and 160 bankers released Sunday found that revenues steadied and profits picked up in the first quarter after a sharp drop in the fourth quarter, reported the Wall Street Journal. But they’ve stopped borrowing, cut spending and are now holding off hiring. Only 23% of companies surveyed expanded their workforce, the survey found. And while hiring picked up at state-owned companies – where the bottom-line matters less – it slowed significantly at private companies, it said. Most companies expect further hiring weakness ahead, China Beige Book said.