Information service provider Experian bets on China's further opening up
By Zhang Xinyuan
Leading international information service provider Experian believes that China's new foreign investment law will not only benefit the country's long-term economic development, but will also boost foreign companies' willingness to invest continuously in China, said Huang Jian, managing director of Experian Greater China.
The UK-listed company is confident that China's economy will see a rebound in the second half of 2020, and the company also quickly adjusted its business strategy in light of the pandemic, launching initiatives to help small to medium companies to help the country's economy recover quickly.
In an interview with CGTN, Huang shared his views on some populists' anti-globalization talk and his outlook on China's economy in 2020. Huang also calls for countries to work together to fight the pandemic. Like many crises we have experienced before, it requires solidarity.
The following are the excerpts of the interview, edited for clarity and brevity.
CGTN: What's your take on China's new foreign investment law?
Huang: In recent years, China has further opened its financial sector and released a series of policies to support foreign companies ... improving business environment and delivering a strong positive signal. It will attract more foreign companies like Experian.
We believe the new foreign investment law has highlighted that we foreign companies will be treated the same as the Chinese state-owned companies and private companies. More importantly, we know that intellectual property will receive more attention and protection, which are very critical to us.
The launch of the foreign investment law will provide us with the legal guarantee and some beneficial conveniences to our core business like commercial credit services, decisioning and analytics, and identification fraud management solutions. ... We will invest in China in the coming years ... and we will work together with the Chinese government, our partners, our suppliers, to continue to grow the market together.
CGTN: Any room for improvement regarding the current new foreign investment law?
Huang: Considering the execution time for the foreign investment law is not that long, it's about five months ago, we have not felt any fundamental changes so far. However, to some extent, this law will protect foreign companies to equally compete in the domestic market with the private-owned companies, public-listed companies in China and the state-owned companies. It will not only benefit the long-term development for China's economy, but also provide foreign businesses like Experian with the flexibilities, opportunities and possibilities to invest continuously.
I think according to our recent observations, the foreign investment law can do more optimizations to ensure the actual implementation, such as to further clarify some of the rules and its execution.
CGTN: Is your company still confident on China's economy in light of the coronavirus pandemic?
Huang: Everyone knows it has impacted China's economy. However, we have the confidence. Under the leadership of the Chinese government, we will all win this together. We believe in the second half, the economy will recover quickly and our suppliers, our partners, our customers, we're all working together to make sure we recover quickly and smoothly.
We will adjust our strategy, especially to help the small to medium companies recover quickly. I think that's the government's priority and it's also our priority moving forward in the short term.
Over the last 40 years, the world has witnessed the miracle of China. China has grown its business in all sectors. And more importantly, more Chinese companies are going internationally to expand its business footprint. Experian has our mature technologies and solutions. We believe we can help Chinese companies locally and internationally.
CGTN: Some believe that globalization as we know it will be over after COVID-19, and supply chains will be restructured, what's Experian's take on this?
Huang: No, I don't think the globalization will be terminated. [COVID-19 is] just like one of those crises we've experienced like climate change and the 2008 financial crisis. It does require all countries to work more closely together.
Only if we work together closely, we can beat the COVID-19 quickly and smoothly. ... We're committed to continuously investing in China and growing our business. And we're confident in the China market. It will bring us the opportunities and we're also committed we will continue to bring our global resources and experience to help our partners and customers to grow together in the China market.