22nd November 2023: Compliance Conference 2023

This episode contains segments on China’s actual use of FDI in the first ten months of 2023; on the rise in industrial production and retail sales in October; on European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s speech on EU-China relations and on China’s record-breaking electric vehicle export to the EU in October. From the Chamber’s side: join us in Shanghai on 29th November for this year’s Compliance Conference, which will focus on the themes of data security and the Anti-Unfair Competition Law and explore the challenges and opportunities of balancing compliance with business operations in China.


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Read more:

China January-October FDI (in Chinese)


China industrial production, October (in Chinese)


China retail sales, October (in Chinese)


EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s speech at the European China Conference 2023


China’s EV exports to EU record high in October


European Chamber event: Compliance Conference 2023



XINHE: Hello and welcome to China Shortcuts,

MARIANN: the European Chamber’s weekly catchup on China’s business landscape.


XINHE: According to data released on 17th November by China’s Ministry of Commerce, the actual use of foreign direct investment in the country in the first ten months of 2023 fell 9.4 per cent year-on-year.

MARIANN: China’s total use of FDI in the January-October period amounted to RMB 987 billion. The utilisation of foreign investment in manufacturing rose 1.9 per cent year-on-year but was still less than half of the actual use of FDI in services. The Ministry’s statement also highlighted that investment inflows from Canada, the United Kingdom and France all increased by at least 90 per cent respectively, however, the statement did not specify the amount of FDI from any of the listed countries.


XINHE: Production at larger industrial firms operating in China increased in October compared to the same period a year ago, with manufacturing production expanding at the fastest pace.

MARIANN: Overall, industrial production rose 4.6 per cent, which was the highest rate of increase recorded since April. Of the 41 industrial sectors surveyed by the National Bureau of Statistics, 28 boosted their production in October. A breakdown according to ownership structure showed that the increase was most significant at equity-owned companies, followed by state-owned enterprises, while production at foreign-invested firms picked up the least, rising 0.9 per cent year-on-year.


XINHE: Retail sales in China expanded significantly in October, as the October 1st national day holiday and the deals promoted in the lead up to the annual Singles’ Day shopping festival had a warming effect on consumption.

MARIANN: Retail sales grew 7.6 per cent year-on-year, which was the highest reading since May. The increase in sales of goods and catering services both accelerated compared to the previous four months.

As part of the same dataset, the statistics bureau also revealed that the surveyed urban unemployment rate remained unchanged from September, standing at 5 per cent.


XINHE: On 16th November, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivered a speech at the European China Conference 2023, highlighting the need to raise concerns while at the same time leaving space for a discussion on the development of the EU-China relationship to the benefit of both sides.

MARIANN: The European Commission President stressed that achieving a level playing field in the EU’s trade relationship with China will be at the centre of the upcoming bilateral summit, which will take place early December. She elaborated on the EU’s de-risking strategy by saying that it stands on three pillars, which are: protecting the EU’s legitimate interests, dialogue to address differences and diversification with partners. Speaking on the key issues of the EU-China relationship, von der Leyen mentioned the imbalance in trade, with China’s trade surplus with the EU breaking a historic record in 2022. She also warned that China’s overcapacities in protected industries could undermine the EU’s industrial base if released onto global markets.

XINHE: According to the South China Morning Post’s calculations based on export data released by China’s customs authorities on 20th November, China’s electric vehicle exports to the EU reached a record high in October.

MARIANN: Rising 32 per cent year-on-year, the total value of EV exports from China to the EU surpassed USD 2 billion, while the European Union is conducting a probe into Chinese government subsidies provided for EV makers.  


XINHE: The regulatory landscape in China is constantly evolving, making it challenging for businesses to stay compliant. Recent years have seen the introduction of several laws and regulations to address data security concerns, all of which have significant implications for businesses operating in China.

MARIANN: Similarly, complying with the Anti-Unfair Competition Law is critical for foreign businesses. The Supreme People’s Court issued a guideline on the interpretation of some issues concerning its application last March, and revisions to the law are continuing.

XINHE: Join us in Shanghai on 29th November for this year’s Compliance Conference, which will focus on the themes of data security and the Anti-Unfair Competition Law and explore the challenges and opportunities of balancing compliance with business operations in China.


XINHE: Thanks for listening. Tune in again next week.

MARIANN: In the meantime, please find useful links in the episode notes.

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