Environmental concerns are growing in China but people also concerned about the less-visible consequences of the country’s breakneck growth in recent years, such as growing inequalty and food safety.
According to a recent report by Pew Research, the Chinese are increasingly concerned about the quality of the country’s air and water.
Nearly half (47%) rate air pollution a very big problem, an increase of 11 percentage points from 2012. Concerns about water pollution have also increased. Four out of ten say it is a very big problem, compared with 33% last year.
Unsurprisingly, food safety has shot up the list of concerns and 38% consider the safety of food a very big problem, a 26 percentage point increase since 2008.
Yum! Brands, the US owner of the KFC chain of fast food restaurants, is having big problems restoring sales and consumer confidence in China after one of its suppliers was reported to have been giving unapproved antibiotics and hormones to its chickens.
The quality of manufactured goods is also a growing concern with Chinese consumers and 31% describe it as a very big problem, up from just 13% five years ago. Similarly, 27% hold this view about the safety of medicine, compared with 9% in 2008.
So, there’ would seem to be a bright future for businesses that can help allay fears about the food they consume or the goods they buy in the China.
Bureau Veritas, a leader in testing and verification, recently opened a new China HQ in Shanghai to exploit these opportunities better.
While the French firm has been in China for 20 years, the growing sophistication of the Chinese economy has created new demands on the part of consumers and businesses for QA, testing and compliance services. The new HQ aims to provide a more professional one-stop solution for Chinese market.