Chinese business owners say their profit margins have been “squeezed to the extreme” by rising rent and labour costs – and 80% want taxes and levies cut to ease their burden. That’s according to the results of a nationwide survey of 14,709 companies released on Tuesday, relating to the three years from 2014, by the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences, a think tank affiliated with the Ministry of Finance. Their sentiments reflect limited progress in the push to “cut costs for business” – one of the biggest economic goals under President Xi Jinping, along with reducing capacity and cutting debt, according to the South China Morning Post. The average tax burden of respondents was 5.14% of total business turnover in 2016, the academy said. That was slightly less than the average of 5.32% in 2014. It found that the combined costs and expenses of the companies surveyed had exceeded their combined revenues in the three years from 2014.