Some American companies do better than others in China

A woman checks out dolls at Barbie's flagship store in Shanghai

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Today the Chinese government reports direct foreign investment in the country is up 18 percent so far this year. That's foreign companies that have pumped billions of dollars into China with things like factories or stores. But investment from U.S. firms fell by more than 20 percent. While some American companies continue to do well in China, others haven't been quite so lucky.

From Shanghai, here's Marketplace China Correspondent Rob Schmitz.


ROB SCHMITZ: Fried Chicken and Fords: This all-American combo's having a banner year in China. Yum! Brands, parent company of KFC and Pizza Hut, is actually making more money this year in China than the U.S. Ford Motors is another winner this year in China. Auto industry analyst Michael Dunne.

MICHAEL DUNNE: In the old days it was Detroit and Texas. Big trucks down in Texas, and big sedans in Detroit. That just didn't fit in markets like China. Today, the focus is on delivering products Chinese people want.

Small fuel efficient cars like the Ford Focus, one of its top sellers in China. On the flip side, GM saw its growth drastically slow from last year at this time. GM's still selling a lot of product here. The same can't be said for Best Buy, Home Depot, and Mattel. Best Buy pulled out of China earlier this year, Home Depot's closed stores, and Mattel's closed its Barbie flagship store in China leaving a pink six-story glass building sitting empty in the middle of downtown Shanghai.

In Shanghai, I'm Rob Schmitz, for Marketplace.

About the author

Rob Schmitz is Marketplace’s China correspondent in Shanghai.

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