News / Asia

US Businesses Concerned about Investment Restrictions, IP Rights in China

William Ide

The head of a coalition of American businesses operating in China says investment restrictions and concerns over intellectual property rights are key issues for companies doing business there.  

When John Frisbie, president of the U.S.-China Business Council, accompanied more than a dozen top American CEOs to China earlier this month, Chinese restrictions on foreign investment was a major issue for both sides. "I think the investment area is one that is highly important for both economies and that reducing investment barriers, again there's a lot on their side; there's probably some things that could be done here, reducing investment barriers would probably help both economies because more direct investment creates jobs.  No doubt about it," he said.

Speaking with reporters here in Washington this week, Frisbie said its time for China to begin addressing this problem and reduce investment restrictions. "China has a pretty extensive list of industry sectors or particular product areas where foreign investors are limited to having to do a joint venture with a Chinese partner or even in some cases hold a minority share in a joint venture with a Chinese partner," he said.

Under such arrangements, U.S. companies worry that they will be forced to transfer technology and sensitive information to their Chinese partners.

Frisbie says that in addition to investment, intellectual property rights and equal treatment were among other key issues American business leaders urged China to address.

He says that although U.S. companies say a nine-month anti-piracy campaign launched by Beijing late last year was helpful, a permanent and tougher effort is needed.  "Basically, adopt the international standard on criminal penalties as a tougher deterrent, criminal penalties in cases of commercial scale.  China hasn't done that yet," he said.

American business leaders say they hope to see substantive progress on these and other issues when U.S. and Chinese officials hold their latest round of U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade talks in Chengdu, China next week.

The U.S.-China Business Council has more than 200 members, and includes major American corporations as well as smaller businesses such as law firms and consultants.  According to a recent survey of its members, foreign investment restrictions and intellectual property rights were among the top 10 concerns of U.S. businesses in China.

John Frisbie says that although some of the challenges American companies face involve Chinese government policies, others are not. "Pretty consistently, the top issue is HR [human resources], the ability to hire people in the environment and keep them, where there're a lot of companies, including Chinese companies chasing the same talent, the turnover pressures that creates for companies the comp [compensation] and ben [benefits] pressures that creates for companies.  If you're trying to run a business in China, that's probably your top headache," he said.

Another issue that limits a company's ability to expand in China, Frisbie says, is the myriad of licenses businesses need and the problems they face in receiving those licenses in a fair and timely manner.

He says the rising cost of labor, materials, land, utilities and taxes are also among the biggest concerns for American companies doing business there. "Each year, we ask companies to rate how any particular issue has faired over the last 12 months; you know, better, worse the same.  The one that was at the top of the list for deterioration over the past year was cost increases.  It is getting more expensive to do business in China," he said.

But rising costs, Frisbie adds, affects companies in different ways.  Firms that use China as a low-cost manufacturing base might move their operations elsewhere.  Companies whose sole focus is the Chinese market will likely stay.

But according to the  U.S.-China Business Council, most of its members saw double-digit revenue growth in China last year.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid