The fast-changing digital economy – already a growth engine of the Chinese economy – has been further boosted by the pandemic. 9 in 10 (92%) of foreign companies state that China’s rapid digitalisation has improved the growth prospects of their business there. They are now making investments in their digital capabilities to match. 42% of international companies say they have enhanced or are enhancing their digital channels and platforms. 41% say that they have increased their investment in information technology in order to take advantage of China’s flourishing digital economy.
The emphasis placed by international businesses on Chinese technological innovation is apparent. Over 7 in 10 (73%) of the international executives who participated in our survey feel that their target market in China is more technologically advanced than their own domestic markets. These include high-tech markets such as Germany, the UK, and the USA - 68%, 64%, and 61% of their respondents respectively state they feel China to be more advanced.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are deemed by foreign companies with Chinese investments to be the technological developments that have most significantly benefited their business growth – with nearly 4 in 10 (39%) of respondents selecting one of these developments.