88% of Chinese firms would rather work with Korean partners than Japanese ones, survey finds

Posted on : 2024-05-21 17:31 KST Modified on : 2024-05-21 17:31 KST
A survey by Korea’s top business lobby found that companies in both Japan and China prioritize cooperation with Korean companies over cooperation with each other
Shanghai’s skyline at night. (Getty Images)
Shanghai’s skyline at night. (Getty Images)

A survey has found that a majority of Chinese companies prioritize cooperation with Korean companies over cooperation with Japanese companies.
According to the results of a survey on the economic cooperation between South Korea, China, and Japan, released Monday by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), the majority of Chinese companies surveyed said they are more willing to cooperate with Korean companies than Japanese companies.
When asked to rate their willingness to work with companies from South Korea or Japan on a scale of 1 to 10, Chinese companies on average preferred working with South Korean companies (7.1) over Japanese companies (6.5). This result is likely to have been influenced by Japan’s political and economic situation, since the country has always been more closely aligned with the US compared to South Korea. Long-standing anti-Japanese sentiment in China also seems to have influenced these business relationships.
Japanese companies also prioritized cooperation with Korean companies over Chinese companies. In a survey of Japanese companies, Korean companies (5.2 points) were ranked higher than Chinese companies (4.7 points) in terms of preference. Both Chinese and Japanese companies prioritize cooperation with Korean companies over cooperation with each other.
“If we convert the scores, 88% of Chinese companies and 50% of Japanese companies expressed their desire to work first and foremost with Korean companies,” the FKI explained.
Korean companies, on the other hand, did not demonstrate a clear preference between the two countries. Surveyed firms were willing to work with both Chinese companies and Japanese companies, with their willingness to work with China and Japan scoring 6.1 points and 6.3 points, respectively.
Korean companies strongly agreed that the relationship between the three countries needs to improve. When asked if there is a need to improve relations between the three countries, 75.0% of Korean, 46.7% of Japanese, and 45.0% of Chinese companies agreed with the prompt.

As the main reason for needing to improve relations, most Korean companies (49.3%) cited “increased economic benefits through technology cooperation, etc.” In contrast, most Chinese companies (44.0%) and Japanese companies (40.0%) cited “security and peace in Northeast Asia.”

Countries also differed on the areas where they viewed cooperation as necessary.

Among Japanese companies, the most frequently named area for cooperation was “semiconductors and advanced materials” (25.5%). Among Korean and Chinese companies, the top-ranked response was “nuclear power, hydrogen, and renewable energy,” which relates to stable energy supplies and climate change. The response was given by 25.2% of Korean businesses and 23.9% of Chinese ones.

The FKI surveyed major manufacturing companies in the three countries (100 in Korea, 111 in China, and 107 in Japan) between March 22 and April 8. The margin of error was plus or minus 5.19 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.

The FKI said this was the first time major Korean, Chinese, and Japanese corporations were jointly surveyed on economic issues.

By Kim Kyung-wook, staff reporter

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