Chinese businesses are retreating from the US as relations between the world’s two largest economies deteriorate, reports the Financial Times. Chinese investment plunged to $2.5 billion in the US last year—the lowest in more than a decade and down from a record $48 billion in 2016, according to an analysis by Rhodium Group, a think-tank. Business activity, including revenue and local employment, at Chinese companies that were already present in the US market has also declined.
“The environment in the US has become more challenging for Chinese investors,” says Adam Smith, a partner at law firm Gibson Dunn and a former US Treasury adviser. “Being concerned about China has become a real bipartisan issue upon which almost everybody can agree, rightly or wrongly.”
More than 80% of Chinese companies cited the stalemate in bilateral relations as the leading challenge for business, according to the latest survey conducted by the China General Chamber of Commerce, which represents Chinese investors in the US. More than one-third reported unstable US policies towards foreign investment as a concern.