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The Pressure is on for Foreign Companies to Give Back Socially: CSR Forum Chair Clare Pearson in The Telegraph

BritCham / CBBC
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With its increasingly competitive market and focus on environmental and social harmony, businesses in China are finding that in order to be successful they must learn to give back to its billon- strong consumer base.

For the first time, China’s most recent five Year Plan includes a chapter on ‘social governance’. This reflects a growing trend in the country which is starting to place more value on what businesses can do for China, not just what China can do for them. Government officials are being increasingly judged by their ability to deliver socially, and this is something businesses need to be aware of in order to win much sought after government contracts and deals with domestic companies.

In such a competitive market, bringing technology and investment is no longer enough, good governance will increasingly have a major impact on foreign businesses. As it stands domestic companies are constantly outperforming foreign competitors when it comes to CSR. In a 2011 global survey measuring which companies did the most socially, only two global brands made the top ten- Coca- Cola and Nokia coming 8th and 9th respectively. Domestic brands like China Mobile, Haier and Lenovo led the way.

BritCham – CBBC CSR Forum Chair Clare Pearson states that it stands to reason businesses that help officials meet social targets are the ones becoming the most successful,

‘social responsibility isn’t part of your business strategy for China, its your business strategy… the opportunities for corporate charity have never been so great- or the price of failure so high’

‘ Take the Sichuan earthquake in 2008 as an example,’ she recalls. ‘In the weeks after the quake in Sichuan I saw colleagues remove soft drinks from the fridge made by a company who had not yet 'committed to the quake' and replace the cans with a brand that had donated its annual year's profits to earthquake victims.

‘Share prices were affected and the Chinese are patriotic purchasers. Foreign companies are going to have see the bigger picture to remain in the frame in developing markets.’

Doing CSR is not new in China, but things are moving to another level; foreign companies wanting to succeed in the market can no longer afford a ‘me first’ approach.

 

Source: mirtankov.su

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