Business outlook of Austrian-owned companies in the Yangtze-River-Delta and beyond has significantly moderated after several weeks of lockdown in Shanghai



In the light of the lockdown in Shanghai, ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA Shanghai conducted the ABC Quick Survey among the Austrian business community in the Yangtze-River-Delta and beyond. More than 430 Austrian subsidiaries are currently located in the provinces Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangxi. The initial ABC Quick Survey was carried out at the beginning of the lockdown (April 1 - 2, 2022), followed by the Update Survey on May 5 – 10, 2022. Both surveys consisted of online questionnaires with multiple choice and open questions. 

A total of 56 respondents and 31 respondents (leaders and key employees) participated in the initial survey and the update survey respectively. Among the participants of the update survey, 32% lead production plants and another 35% distribution subsidiaries (initial survey: 39% and 25%). As much as 32% count over 250 employees while 52% have a team of less than 50 people (initial survey: 34% and 41%). In consistence with statistics, most of the respondents’ companies are located in Shanghai and neighbouring Jiangsu province. Some of the respondents operate locations outside the Yangtze-River-Delta too. 



At the time of the initial survey (beginning of April), two thirds of the respondents were under lockdown. Since then, the part of companies concerned by a lockdown has considerably increased: As the update survey shows, 80% of the respondents were in lockdown in the beginning of May, with either all or part of their subsidiaries in China affected. Although not all participants operate branches in Shanghai, only 7% have never experienced any lockdown so far. 

In slightly more than half of the respondents’ companies, over three quarters of the staff are fully operational. However, only 39% of the companies can count on the full work input of their entire team. Already in April, a great majority of respondents suffered slightly or heavily from the non-availability of workforce (95%). The solution of a closed loop operation has been implemented by 45% of the participants for all or part of their teams by beginning of May. This is a remarkable share compared to April when only 9% of the participants had realized a closed loop setup.



The business situation has clearly deteriorated between the initial survey in April and the update survey in May. In the beginning of May, as much as 80.5% of the participants saw their business limited in operation and 10% of the respondents’ companies were closed. Only 9.5% of the respondents reported business as usual or more business than in the previous year. This was still the case for 32% of the participants in the beginning of April. 

The open question about the most pressing challenges at present was answered by almost half of the respondents with logistics and transportation issues such as availability, timing and costs. Another 29% of the participants mentioned uncertainties due to rules and regulations and their quick changes. Various difficulties related to customer relations and supply chains were indicated by 23% and 19% respectively. 

Within the five weeks between the two rounds of the ABC Quick Survey, optimism for the business year 2022 has considerably suffered in the Austrian business community. Back in April, 70% of the respondents expected their sales and profits to increase or to remain the same compared to the previous year. Until the beginning of May, the percentage of respondents who assume a positive or stable business development for 2022 has shrunken to 29%.



Details on the initial ABC Quick Survey conducted at the start of the Shanghai lockdown from April 1 to 2, 2022 among the Austrian Business Community in the Yangtze-River-Delta can be found in the previous article ABC Quick Survey April 2022 ( 

Further comparison and insights can be gained by consulting the results of the last
ABC Business Confidence Survey conducted in October 2021 among Austrian subsidiaries in whole China: Austrian Business Confidence Survey 2021 ( 

To obtain the detailed results of the studies or any other information about Sino-Austrian business relations, please contact ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA Shanghai by mail at