US lawmakers are challenging a joint venture between China’s third-largest steel producer and a US steel company because it would “allow a Chinese company to exploit the American steel market” and threaten national security.|
General Electric's chief executive Jeffrey Immelt, in spite realizing the importance of China's market, has reportedly criticized the Chinese government for being increasingly hostile toward multinationals.
It seems that Mr Immelt is more than willing to lend his voice to a rising chorus of foreign complainants against China's business environment. But Immelt shoulds stop whining.
Given the huge difficulties and high pressure that business leaders face today, because of the global economic crisis, it is understandable for some of them to occasionally put the blame on others for their predicament. But biting the hand that feeds you is by no means the right way to ease pressure.
While GE's global revenue shrunk in 2009 because of the global economic crisis, China contribution to it went up by 14 percent to $5.3 billion.
If the world's largest manufacturing company still has so much to complain about China, which has led the world recovery, it is hard to understand what it really expects from the Chinese authorities. The company's business has expanded well in the world's fastest-growing major economy over the past two and half decades.
It may be true that GE is facing its toughest business conditions in China, hit hard by the global recession last year with workers becoming the worst sufferers.
The global economic crisis has forced China to expedite the transformation of its economic growth model, which can make competition fiercer both for domestic and foreign companies. And the recent withdrawal of supernational treatment to multinationals could add to their frustration. But then this is what a sound business environment should be and fits the World Trade Organization formula: even playing field for all.
If GE is just complaining about its short-term pain, it should rethink its commitment to prosper with the Chinese economy. If Mr Immelt is blaming China for non-business reasons, he'd better bite his tongue.