China’s sinking economy receives crushing blow as foreign company withdraws
Polling and consulting firm Gallup is to become the latest Western company to pull out of China, it has been claimed.
The Washington-based advisory group’s alleged decision to leave the Asian nation comes amid rising scrutiny of Western consultancies as well as increasing geopolitical tensions between Beijing and the West.
Gallup’s retreat from China was announced to its clients this week, the Financial Times reported.
The company said in a notice seen by the news outlet: “Regrettably, Gallup has made the decision to close its operations in China.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Gallup for comment.
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Gallup first set up operations in China in 1993 and counts dozens of employees in its three Chinese offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, according to public payroll records.
Among the work it carries out in China, Gallup provides consultancy to local companies wanting to optimise their marketing as well as training and education.
The organisation is also famous around the globe for its opinion polls – which are made difficult to carry out by the strict rules enforced by the Chinese government on foreign groups conducting public surveys.
Gallup’s alleged retreat from China comes as the difficult economic environment in the country as well as the invasive scrutiny by state security agencies are making it increasingly difficult for Western consultancy firms to attract business there.
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Earlier this year, the organisation’s polls were described by the state-owned publication Global Times as a “tool to contain China and maintain US dominance”.
This attack followed a Gallup survey in March suggesting the proportion of Americans who viewed China favourably had hit a record low.
Western companies are reducing their presence in China as the world’s second-largest economy is experiencing a host of economic issues – from high youth unemployment to slow growth and a property market in disarray.
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After fears of an economic crash emerged in the late summer, the Chinese economy appeared to be recovering.
However, factory activity in China appeared to be slipping back into decline in October, clouding recovery prospects.
An economic slowdown in China, which is home to more than 1.4 billion people, casts a shadow over the global growth prospects, according to some analysts.
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