Chen Long

Chen Long

Co-Founder, Plenum

Chen Long is the co-founder and a partner of Plenum. He manages Plenum’s research and is the lead economist. He started the career on the equity trading floors in Hong Kong and worked as the China economist for Gavekal Dragonomics until founding Plenum in 2019. He writes extensively on China’s economy, government policies, financial markets and geopolitics. His work is quoted frequently by the global media including the Financial Times, the Economist, and Bloomberg. A native Beijinger, he was educated at Peking University.


Investors look at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai, China, on 7 March 2016. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Decline in FDI may not mean investment flight from China

While the narrative of de-risking and reshoring is popular in the media, there is little evidence that firms have left or are leaving China en masse, says China research analyst Chen Long. The decline of FDI could be due to the simple fact that China’s interest rates are now much lower than those in most developed countries, thus making more sense for some foreign firms to move their retained earnings back home. That said, alarm bells should ring in Beijing, as efforts to stabilise foreign investment have yet to succeed.
The central business district in Beijing on 17 July 2023. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Beijing unrattled despite weak Q2

While China's housing market and exports are down, its consumption figures look to be improving and there are bright spots in the renewable energy and semiconductor sectors, says China research analyst Chen Long. A huge stimulus is unlikely to be in the offing, as Beijing still seems convinced that a more organic rebound, while slow and gradual, is better than a quick, policy-driven one.
People walk with their luggage at a railway station during the annual Spring Festival travel rush ahead of the Lunar New Year, in Shanghai, China, 16 January 2023. (Aly Song/Reuters)

China’s economy is bound to recover in 2023

China research analyst Chen Long gives a positive assessment of China’s economic prospects in 2023, pointing out that the swift U-turn on Covid policies may wreak havoc in the short-term, but be the catalyst to drive economic growth in the Year of the Rabbit. Variables are looking favourable, with the consumer spending and housing sector showing potential, and government policies going in the right direction.