While two thirds of European businesses who took part in the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China’s Business Confidence Survey 2022 continued to report revenues in China in 2021, stringent COVID-19 control measures and unpredictable lockdowns, combined with other factors, have dented business confidence.
SMEs are as a rule more exposed to disruptions in the economy and the COVID-19 pandemic was no exception: SMEs were the first to be hit and the last to recover. The Shanghai lockdown in spring 2022 proved particularly devastating to small businesses in the city and beyond.
The disruptions in business operations and increased uncertainty have prompted policymakers to take new measures and regulations to support the economy. In addition, 2021 saw the publication of the 14th Five-Year Plan for the Development of SMEs, which sets the agenda for future SME-related policies and regulations for the next half a decade.
Our report comprises an introduction to SMEs in China and an analysis of the current policy environment for SMEs in various areas, with a clear overview of the challenges and priorities that will contribute to shaping this environment in the coming years. Updated in June 2022 with the latest policies and studies conducted specifically on SMEs, our report is available for free download to all registered users.
Introduction to SMEs in China
1.1. Definition and classification of SMEs in China
1.2. European definition and classification of SMEs
1.3. European SMEs and China – data from the EU SME Centre
Analysis of the current policy environment of SMEs in China
2.1. Financing and reduction of financial burden
2.1.2. Reduction of financial burden
2.2. Administrative procedures and services
2.3. SME market development
2.3.1. Talent acquisition and retention
2.3.2. Competition and procurement
2.4. Protection of the rights of SMEs and supervision mechanisms
2.5. Intellectual Property
2.6. Innovation and Entrepreneurship
2.7. SME green development