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Foreign Companies Feel Increasingly Unwelcome in China

For VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.

About 500 American companies operating in China say they are making a profit. But top-level officials with the companies say they increasingly feel unwelcome and targeted by the Chinese government. The American Chamber of Commerce in China, known as AmCham China, recently released the survey results of its members.

Fifty-seven percent of top-level managers said they feel Chinese officials are concerned about investigating foreign companies. They survey said that nearly half of the officials felt unwelcome doing business in the country. However, most businesses asked said they remain "profitable" or "very profitable".

In China, the investigation of foreign companies has become common since Presiden Xi Jinping took power. Chinese officials have examined the operations of Microsoft, Qualcomm, Audi, McDonald's and other foreign companies. AmCham China represents more than 1,000 US businesses. Its chairman, James Zimmerman, says he does not believe the government is targeting such companies on purpose.

The group's representatives often meet with US and Chinese officials. It can be difficult for private companies to operate in China's business environment. China has experienced huge changes since it moved from a planned economy to a more market-driven one. However, the state still has a strong influence and foreign companies can find it hard to compete against state-owned businesses.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Alex Villarreal.

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