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Rather than decouple, US, China businesses look for ways to collaborate

Rather than decouple, US, China businesses look for ways to collaborate

GUANGZHOU, China — For some big companies, U.S.-China business ties are still holding up, despite worries that trade tensions will cause the two economies to decouple.

The biggest change for Microsoft in the last year is having more opportunities than before in the Chinese market, particularly for Chinese companies wanting to go abroad, said Alan Crozier, chairman and CEO of the technology company’s Greater China region.

“If you want to be more efficient, you need to have a fundamental platform that is the same around the world,” Crozier said Monday at CNBC’s East Tech West conference in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China.

The U.S.-based software giant entered the Chinese market in 1992. The company did not break out regional revenues in its latest quarterly earnings report.

Overall, American companies and their affiliates made more than $450 billion in sales in China in 2016, while that of the Chinese counterparts in the U.S. were less than $50 billion, research firm Gavekal Dragonomics said in a report in August.

As trade tensions between the U.S. and China simmer, Beijing has stepped up its efforts to improve the business environment for foreign companies in the country. Analysts also say these moves, such as better intellectual property protection, come as maturing Chinese companies find they need similar standards.

Chinese companies tap US markets
For their part, many Chinese businesses still choose to list their stocks in New York, often for a boost to brand awareness.

Robert McCooey, chairman of Nasdaq Asia-Pacific, said Monday at a separate conference session he expects about 35 or 38 Chinese companies to go public in the U.S. this year, down slightly from his forecast in May of more than 40 listings.

“We’re excited to welcome Chinese companies like we have from iQiyi and Pinduoduo last year, and DouYu as the tenth largest IPO of this year in all the U.S. markets,” McCooey said. “They want to come to the U.S. And so that nexus is, the fact that they want to tap into the most sophisticated technology investors in the world, and they’re in the United States.”