The head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, a leading US business lobby group in China, has warned of a withdrawal of western executives from the Chinese market due to tightening coronavirus controls, reports the Financial Times. Beijing has enforced over 18 months of strict border security, including three-week quarantine stays and fewer visas for businesspeople and their families.
Ker Gibbs and Alan Beebe, the presidents of the American Chambers of Commerce based in Shanghai and Beijing, respectively, are among an increasing number of businesspeople in China leaving their jobs in the coming months.
A recent survey of 338 AmCham Shanghai member companies in China revealed that more than 70% had difficulty attracting and retaining foreign talent with “Covid-related travel restrictions” the primary problem. “Getting business executives—and their families—in and out of China has been extremely difficult since the global pandemic began,” Gibbs said.
The removal of preferential tax treatment enjoyed by foreigners for decades and the rising costs of living in Chinese cities were also cited as big concerns.