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U.S. business sentiment in China hits record low as zero-COVID persists, survey shows

SHANGHAI, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Optimism among U.S. businesses in China has hit record low levels, an annual survey showed on Friday, as competitive, economic, and regulatory challenges compound the stresses already imposed by Beijing’s ongoing zero-COVID policies.

Just 55% of 307 companies surveyed by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and consultancy PwC China described themselves as optimistic about the five-year business outlook. The reading is the lowest in the survey’s 23-year history and worse than in 2020, when COVID-19 first surfaced, and during the trade standoff between Beijing and Washington in 2019.

In addition, about half of the companies said that their headquarters’ confidence in China’s economic management had fallen in the past year and that just 18% ranked China as number one in their company’s global investment plans, down from 27% last year.

The respondents surveyed between July 14 and Aug. 18 cited…

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