Alibaba's former executive chairman Jack Ma (R) attends the Forbes Global CEO conference 2019 in Singapore, on Oct. 15, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)
Chinese CEOs showed the highest level of optimism about global economic growth in 2020 and 45 percent of the surveyed Chinese CEOs said they are "very confident" in their 12-month growth prospects, according to the latest annual global CEO survey by auditing and consultancy firm PwC.
By comparison, only 27 percent of global CEOs are "very confident" in the prospects for revenue growth in 2020 - a level not seen since 2009, Bob Moritz, Global Chairman at PwC, said in a video on the website of PwC.
Experts noted the deployment of technology and rapid growth of China's digital economy bring great opportunities and confidence to Chinese businesses, though downward economic pressure remains for China this year.
One of the findings of the report this year is the degree of pessimism in the minds of CEOs, which is consistent around the world, but one exception is China, Moritz told Chinese news portal Sina Finance at the Davos meeting in Switzerland.
He noted the amount of focus created by the Chinese government and businesses working together on artificial intelligence (AI), leverage of data and facilitating people with skills was impressive, the report said.
Huang Wei, CEO of Beijing Unisound Information Technology Co, a leading speech-recognition AI company, said China's AI application stands in a leading position and surpasses the US in some fields.
"Both major and small AI competitors are joining the game, which makes the competition more intense in China; while in the US, most of the AI competitors are big companies," Huang told the Global Times that he was optimistic about this year's annual revenue of the company.
"China has taken a leap in emerging technology sectors, such as the digital economy and information technology. Some companies have increased their investment in core areas, such as the research and development of chips and intellectual property rights protection," Liu Xuezhi, a senior economist at the Bank of Communications, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
It is also notable that for the first time, 53 percent of global CEOs at major companies believe the rate of global economic growth in 2020 will decline, whereas only 9 percent of Chinese CEOs agreed and 84 percent expected the global economy to improve, the survey showed.
Conducted in September and October 2019, PwC's survey involved 1,581 chief executives in 83 territories before China and the US reached the phase one trade deal on January 15.
The report noted that trade conflicts between the two biggest economies climbed to the second-most "extreme concern" weighing on global CEOs' minds.
Among CEOs in the US and China who expressed "extreme concern" about trade conflicts, more than half continued to say they were adjusting their supply chains and sourcing strategies.
"To some extent, the signing of the phase one trade deal between China and the US will weaken the adverse impact on Chinese companies. It can improve the business confidence of Chinese CEOs in the new year," Liu said.