European Companies Fear ‘Arbitrary Punishment’ Amid China-Europe Tensions, Business Groups Says | Investing News

BEIJING (Reuters) – European companies in China are increasingly afraid of “arbitrary punishment” amid a more politicized business environment, a European business industry group said on Thursday.

The annual report of the European Chamber of Commerce in China also highlighted concerns about travel restrictions imposed on foreign workers because of the coronavirus pandemic and the exclusion of foreign businesses from key sectors of the economy.

“Companies are left navigating a political minefield during a health crisis of truly overwhelming proportions,” chamber president Joerg Wuttke said in comments attached to the report, which draws on contributions from working groups, surveys and comments from its more than 1,700 members.

The report warned that the risk of deteriorating relations between China and Europe – over issues like Beijing’s treatment of the Uighur Muslim minority and new national security legislation for Hong Kong – could seriously impact European companies doing business in China.

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