Similar questions will be asked by senior executives of many of China’s private-sector leaders, who are looking to sustain their historic growth rates by pivoting to new sectors within China and especially to international markets. Most companies will ultimately decide to stick with their current China strategy, but there will be real choices and trade-offs on the table.
What will be at the center of these conversations? It will be a debate about Chinese consumers and how they will behave in a slowing economy and, ultimately, the extent to which they will be the driver of economic growth over the next few years. Let me elaborate.
Other considerations include:
• Improving productivity and efficiency will remain the key to maintaining profitability for many companies, given lower economic growth (overall and at a sector level) and the impact of producer price deflation on multiple sectors.
• The impact of technology as it eliminates jobs in services and manufacturing will become even greater (but still not in government).
• As a result, the government will keep a sharper focus on net job creation and the quality of those new positions. Companies will hire even more information technologists to keep up in the race to exploit technology better than their competitors.
• The push to lower pollution, and now carbon emissions, will lead to even greater investment in domestic solar and wind farms, boosting the global position of Chinese producers.
• High-speed-rail construction will continue domestically and increasingly abroad, as Chinese companies become the builder of choice for high-speed rail globally.
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