The trade war between China and the US is heating up, raising fears for a political backlash against US firms in China. Business analyst Ben Cavender feels it will vary very much according to the position of companies in China, he tells Reuters.
The highest profile corporate casualty was South Korean conglomerate Lotte Group, which saw its plans for mega shopping complexes indefinitely suspended and nearly all of its Lotte Mart stores in China shut for much of the year over alleged fire safety issues.
Ben Cavender, an analyst at Shanghai-based China Market Research Group, said U.S. businesses in China such as Starbucks were more firmly entrenched in the country, making them less likely to receive similar treatment.
“A lot of the brands are employing Chinese workers, essentially they’re Chinese companies in their own right,” he said.
However, he warned that everyday consumption goods could nonetheless be hit.
“You can see consumers saying we’re not going to buy a Ford , or a GM product, and we’re going to buy a European product or a Chinese product instead,” he said.
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