A Fresh Air of Optimism for the Chinese Business Environment
It has been an eventful week in China. The country saw Xi Jinping’s unprecedented third term as China’s president, which became official with the endorsement of the country’s political elite. After receiving a unanimous 2,952 votes followed by a standing ovation, Xi is now the longest-serving head of state of Communist China since its founding in 1949.
China’s new premier, Li Qiang, the country’s No. 2 leader after Xi, also assumed office this week. The administration took no time to resume its process of reinvigorating confidence in the faltering economy. Li has promised that private-sector companies would be treated equally with state-owned ones and that entrepreneurs’ property rights and other interests would be strictly respected. But the government is prudent in protecting its sovereignty, especially given the changing geopolitical equations around the world tethered to the Russia-Ukraine conflicts, the China-plus-one policy, etc. Regulators asking major Chinese tech companies not to offer ChatGPT services to the public amid growing alarm over the AI-powered chatbot’s uncensored replies to user queries can’t be seen far from this.
However, the newly announced vision is an excellent omen for the businesses in the country, which has been through a roller coaster ride over the past few pandemic-ridden years. The administration also feels the heat to revive growth after the “zero Covid” restrictions, including mass testing and quarantines. Li has promised to treat businesses of all forms of ownership equally, protecting the property rights and interests of entrepreneurs according to the law and encouraging fair competition between business entities of all types. It has created a fresh air of optimism in the Chinese business environment. It’s an ideal time to come up with a special issue dedicated to CEOs in China.