Chinese enterprises earn more trust from emerging markets
By Yang Yang

Mei Yan, senior partner and chair of Brunswick Group China. [Photo provided to]

Chinese enterprises are winning more trust and support in emerging markets, especially countries along the Belt and Road, according to a report on a growing divide in opinions of Chinese business between developed and emerging markets.

Recent statistics indicate trust in Chinese companies from emerging markets reached 80 percent in 2019, up 3 percentage points compared to the previous year, according to the report published on Monday by international advisory company Brunswick Group.

On the contrary, trust in Chinese companies from developed markets dipped to 51 percent, down 5 percentage points from 2018, the report said.

The complexity of international geopolitics brings challenges to Chinese companies who want to go abroad. Chinese enterprises are projected to meet stricter censorship in overseas listings in the future, said Mei Yan, senior partner and chair of Brunswick Group China.

All companies should consider the current global situation and adjust their existing overseas development plans while fighting the novel coronavirus, Mei said.

Chinese companies should not give up their plans due to these circumstances, but should make more preparations and take the initiative to communicate with local people, communities, businesses and governments to win trust with the aid of media.

Yu Yue, a partner of Brunswick Group, said challenges brought by COVID-19 are not merely to Chinese companies who plan to go abroad but companies all over the world. Chinese companies should understand the role they play in the world economy at a higher dimension.

Companies should consider environmental, social and corporate governance, or ESG, to bring benefits to local people while doing business abroad.

Mei gave an example of PetroChina's development in Kyrgyzstan through helping local people construct infrastructure. The Chinese company not only helped build roads, but also schools.

Whenever the company is mentioned, local people will give a thumbs-up to show their appreciation of PetroChina's contribution to local development, which set a good example for Chinese companies going global, Mei said.

The report was conducted by Brunswick Group between Oct 31 and Nov 16 last year. About 300 Chinese business leaders and 9,700 adults in 23 countries participated in the survey. It is the third time the company has released such a report.