Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric’s chief executive, has launched a rare broadside against the Chinese government, which he accused of being increasingly hostile to foreign multinationals.
He warned that the world’s largest manufacturing company was exploring better prospects elsewhere in resource-rich countries, which did not want to be “colonised” by Chinese investors. “I really worry about China,” Mr Immelt told an audience of top Italian executives in Rome, accusing the Chinese government of becoming increasingly protectionist. “I am not sure that in the end they want any of us to win, or any of us to be successful.” Mr Immelt acknowledged the importance of the Chinese market, which contributed $5.3bn to the group’s revenues last year – FT.
But US$5.3 bn is a peanutty 3% of 2009 revenues, and China will always need natural resources, so his plan to do without China is credible, unlike Google’s*.
Hmm maybe, China-fixated Temasek and its TLCs can learn from this? In their case, diversify away from China without losing the opportunity cost of not investing direct in China. Get what I mean?
Temasek Gp are big in China
Mentality of China bulls
*But Google has a cunning plan to use Android to soften losses on search in China. Never count Google out.