June 13, 2024

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US consultancy Gallup withdraws from China

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Gallup, the polling and consulting group, is pulling out of China, making it the latest foreign company to retrench from the country amid rising scrutiny of western consultancies and whipsawing geopolitical tensions.

The Washington-based advisory group, which first came to China in 1993, employed dozens of staff at its offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, according to public payroll records, many of whom work as consultants helping Chinese companies re-engineer their organisations or optimise their marketing.

Gallup also has an educational and training arm in China, but it has long faced difficulties conducting the public polling it is best known for globally because of strict Chinese rules governing foreign groups carrying out public opinion surveys.   

Gallup told clients this week it was retreating from China, according to three people close to the matter. It advised customers that it would move some projects outside the country, while others would be cancelled. 

“Regrettably, Gallup has made the decision to close its operations in China,” the company said in a notice seen by the Financial Times.

The company is closing all three of its offices in mainland China and it is unclear what portion of the group’s local employees will be retained. Gallup also previously had an office in Guangzhou, which it closed in 2014, according to public records.

Gallup did not respond to requests for comment.

US consultancies have been struggling to attract business in China, where a broader economic slowdown has been compounded by state security agencies scrutinising the consulting industry over concerns that sharing data with foreign companies could jeopardise national security.

Chinese security agents have raided US consultancies such as Bain & Company, due diligence group Mintz and expert network provider Capvision, and expanded the scope…

2023-11-04 04:12:25

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