22nd Annual Global CEO Survey China Report

Find out what’s top of mind for Chinese CEOs

Amidst ever present challenges, opportunities remain to create business and economic value

These are interesting times for China and the world. Global economic growth slowed in the second half of 2018 and China is facing economic headwinds with a slowing GDP growth rate and a trade dispute spanning several months. During this complicated environment, PwC conducted its 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey to gauge what executives are thinking.

Watch this video to learn more about our China story and how company executives are positioning their strategies - from growth to talent - to stay competitive.


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Our story

Optimism despite slowdown

Mainland Chinese executives were more positive than their global peers in terms of the global economic growth outlook. They are probably down playing fears to maintain stability and confidence as a way to cushion the direct impact of the trade war.

Macro threats loom large for CEOs

When asked about the top economic, policy and social threats to organisations’ growth prospects this year, trade conflicts was the primary concern for the Chinese CEOs surveyed, followed by policy uncertainty and geopolitical uncertainty, and protectionism. Rising economic nationalism has meant that some of the other concerns that came to the fore in 2018 such as social instability and increasing tax burden are no longer top of mind.

Chinese firms ahead in data and analytics

Chinese executives are generally confident about data driven decision making and have demonstrated higher “data savviness” than their global peers. This can be reflective of a conducive policy and business environment for companies whose operations revolve around data. China has the competitive advantage in terms of high penetration rate of mobile devices, robust data infrastructure, availability of data centres and cloud computing services, relative ease of obtaining consumer data and wide adoption of IoT sensors in businesses and government.

AI adoption in China has outpaced global average

Close to half of the China sample currently have some form of AI initiatives in place in their organisation. The rate of adoption in AI and related technology in China has clearly accelerated in the private sector and will continue to grow in coming years. There is in fact no shortage of AI use cases in e-commerce, FinTech, health care, automotive, amongst other sectors, while increasingly more traditional companies are experimenting with AI in attempt to reorganise or reinvent the business process.

Explore our trends series

We’ve combined the insights from more than 3,200 CEO interviews with expert analysis to produce a series of reports across industries and critical topic areas. Explore our industry themes to learn about crucial trends and strategic options. Stay tuned - more reports are coming soon.


Banking & Capital Markets

Risk (Assurance & Consulting)

Asset & Wealth Management


Private Companies

Food supply and integrity

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