2. Views of China’s influence on domestic economic conditions (2024)

While most adults in the 35 countries we surveyed feel China’s influence on domestic economic conditions, people are divided on whether that influence is positive or negative. Those in high-income countries tend to see China’s economic influence negatively, while those in middle-income countries have a more positive outlook.

We also asked specifically about the influence of Chinese companies operating abroad in nine middle-income countries in Africa and Asia. In these nine nations, people largely see Chinese companies as beneficial to their economy. Views are slightly more mixed when it comes to whether these companies take measures to protect the environment and treat local workers well.

How much influence do people think China has on their country’s economy?

Two-thirds or more in all 35 countries surveyed see China influencing domestic economic conditions. This includes shares ranging from 13% to 62% who say China has a great deal of influence on economic conditions in their country.

Nearly all adults in the U.S. and Canada agree China has some amount of influence on their country’s economic conditions. About three-in-ten in each country see a great deal of influence. (For more on U.S. views of China’s economic impact, read our May report.)

In Europe, nine-in-ten or more in most countries surveyed say China influences economic conditions there. Those in France, Germany and Italy are particularly likely to say China hasa great dealof influence.

China’s effect on economic conditions is felt less evenly in the 10 Asian-Pacific countries surveyed. It is most keenly felt in Japan, Malaysia and South Korea, where roughly half say China has a great deal of influence.

About eight-in-ten or more in Israel and Turkey say China influences their country’s economic conditions. Tunisians stand out from the other two Middle East-North African publics surveyed: They are the most likely to say China has no influence at all on economic conditions (22%) but also the most likely to say it has a great deal of influence (41%).

Of those surveyed in sub-Saharan Africa, Kenyans see the greatest influence from China. About nine-in-ten Kenyans say China influences their domestic economy, including 50% who say it has a great deal of influence. A similar share of Nigerians say China influences their country’s economic conditions, but a smaller share says there is a great deal of influence (41%).

Eight-in-ten or more in each of the six Latin American countries surveyed say China has some amount of influence on their country’s economic conditions. Chileans see the most substantial impact, with 60% reporting a great deal of influence.

Views by ideology

In Australia, Italy, Spain and the U.S., those who place themselves on the ideological right see more influence from China than those on the left do. For example, in Australia, 47% of those on the right say China influences the Australian economy a great deal, while 25% on the left agree. In Spain, those on the right are also more likely to answer the question.

The opposite is true in Japan and South Korea, where those on the left are more likely to say China is having a great deal of influence on their country’s economic conditions.

Views by age

In Australia, Canada, Germany and the U.S., those ages 50 and older are more likely than adults under 35 to say China has a great deal of influence on their country’s economic conditions. Older people are also more likely to answer the question in Australia.

In Israel, conversely, it’s younger adults who are more likely to say that China has a great deal of influence. The same is true in India, South Africa and Sri Lanka, though older adults are also more likely to answer the question in these countries.

Views over time

We’ve asked about China’s influence on domestic economic conditions before in 15 of the 35 countries surveyed this year. The sense that China has a great deal of economic influence has increased significantly in 11 of these trended countries.

Some countries were last asked the question in 2019. Of this group, Brazil has seen the greatest change. The share of Brazilian adults who think China has a great deal of influence on their economy has almost doubled, from 26% in 2019 to 51% in 2024. Double-digit increases are also seen in Argentina, India, Kenya, Mexico, Tunisia and Turkey since 2019.

Of the two countries where the question was last asked in 2013, a significant change occurred in Chile. Eleven years ago, 29% of Chileans said China exerts a great deal of economic influence in their country, compared with 60% today.

Do people think China’s economic influence is positive or negative?

Those who said China is having some amount of influence on economic conditions were also asked to evaluate whether that influence is positive or negative – with mixed results.

Americans are the most likely to have negative views of China’s economic impact in their country. Roughly three-quarters say China’s impact on the U.S. economy is negative.

About two-thirds in seven other countries say China has a negative effect on their economy.

Positive views of China’s impact on economic conditions dominate in 14 countries. Two-thirds hold this view in Malaysia and Singapore, including 40% in Malaysia and 30% in Singapore who say China has a great deal of positive influence on their country’s economic conditions.

At least six-in-ten in Mexico, Nigeria, Peru and Thailand also say China’s impact on their economy has been positive.

In five countries, there is no consensus on whether China’s economic impact is good or bad. People in Argentina, Ghana, Greece, Hungary and Israel are about as likely to say China has a positive influence as they are to say it has a negative influence.

Views by age

Younger adults see China’s economic influence more positively in 10 countries. Japan, where people have a generally negative view of China’s influence, sees the greatest difference. Among Japanese adults ages 18 to 34, 38% say China has a positive impact on economic conditions in their country, compared with 13% of those 50 and older.

Even countries where positive views dominate have age differences. For example, in Singapore, where two-thirds see China’s economic impact positively, younger adults are still 11 percentage points more likely than older adults to say this.

Views by ideology

In six countries, ideology is related to how negatively people see China’s economic impact. For Israelis, who are generally divided on whether China’s influence is positive or negative, a larger share of those on the right than those on the left or in the center see it negatively (42% vs. 23% each). Likewise, in Australia, France and the U.S., where most see China’s impact as negative, those on the right are more likely to say this than those on the left.

The opposite is true in Greece and Hungary. In both countries, evaluations of China’s impact are mixed overall, but those on the left are more likely to see China’s economic impact as negative. The difference is especially pronounced in Hungary, where left-leaners are roughly twice as likely as right-leaners to hold this view.

Views over time

Views of China’s economic impact have become more negative in eight of the 15 countries where trend data is available. The greatest change is in Japan, where people are 25 points more likely than they were in 2019 to see China’s economic influence as negative.

Views of China’s influence on economic conditions have become more positive in one country: Mexico, where the share with a positive opinion of China’s economic impact increased by 7 points, from 53% to 60%.

Views of Chinese firms operating abroad

In nine middle-income countries in the Asia-Pacific region and sub-Saharan Africa, we asked people to think more specifically about Chinese companies operating in their country. They were asked to evaluate Chinese companies along three dimensions: their effects on the domestic economy, treatment of local workers and efforts to protect the environment.

Feedback on Chinese companies is relatively positive on all three factors, especially in the Asia-Pacific countries. Still, more see Chinese firms as good for their economy than think they treat workers fairly or protect the environment.

Chinese companies and the economy

A median of 72% across the nine countries say Chinese companies operating there benefit the domestic economy.

Across the Asia-Pacific countries surveyed, those in Bangladesh and Thailand are most praiseful of Chinese companies’ economic impact. About eight-in-ten in each country say the statement “They are good for the economy” describes Chinese companies somewhat or very well.

Indians are the least likely to see economic benefits from Chinese firms or to offer an opinion (20% don’t know or decline to answer).

Majorities in all four African countries surveyed say Chinese companies are good for their economy. In Kenya and Nigeria, around seven-in-ten or more hold this view.

Chinese companies and the environment

A nine-country median of 63% say Chinese companies work to protect the environment.

People are most likely to say this in the Asia-Pacific countries surveyed. Of these five countries, people in Bangladesh offer Chinese companies the most credit on environmental protection. About two-thirds in Sri Lanka and Thailand also say these companies work to protect the environment.

Indians again are the least likely in the region to give Chinese companies positive marks, with 43% saying they work to protect the environment. Around two-in-ten Indians offer no opinion.

Views are more divided across the African countries surveyed. The share saying the statement “They work to protect the environment” describes Chinese companies operating in their country somewhat or very well ranges from 75% in Kenya to 23% in Ghana.

Chinese companies and local workers

A 57% median across the nine countries say the statement “They treat local workers fairly” describes Chinese companies operating there somewhat or very well. Still, substantial shares of the public in several nations express concern about the way local workers are treated.

Overall, those in the Asia-Pacific countries surveyed tend to say Chinese companies operating there treat local workers fairly. In Bangladesh and Thailand, about three-quarters hold this view.

In India, about half think Chinese companies treat local workers fairly, while about a quarter disagree. Another 24% do not offer an opinion.

Views are somewhat more critical in the African countries surveyed. While 68% of Kenyans say Chinese companies operating in their country treat local workers fairly, no more than about half in Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa agree. In fact, Ghanaians are more likely to think that Chinese companies do not treat local workers fairly (53% vs. 34%).

Views by perceptions of the economy

In most of the countries where we asked this question, positive evaluations of how the domestic economy is doing are tied to more positive views of Chinese companies. In South Africa, for example, those who think the current economic situation in the country is good are 18 points more likely than those who think it’s bad to say Chinese companies work to protect the environment. They are also 16 points more likely to think Chinese companies treat local workers well and 12 points more likely to think these companies are good for their economy.

2. Views of China’s influence on domestic economic conditions (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Margart Wisoky

Last Updated:

Views: 6672

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (58 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Margart Wisoky

Birthday: 1993-05-13

Address: 2113 Abernathy Knoll, New Tamerafurt, CT 66893-2169

Phone: +25815234346805

Job: Central Developer

Hobby: Machining, Pottery, Rafting, Cosplaying, Jogging, Taekwondo, Scouting

Introduction: My name is Margart Wisoky, I am a gorgeous, shiny, successful, beautiful, adventurous, excited, pleasant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.