Go ahead and throw, punk. Make our day.

It’s not just Google. According to Andrew Browne and Jason Dean of the WSJ, in the past year, China’s attitude toward foreign businesses has now swung hard toward “closed-ness” and protectionism.

China is now a critical growth and manufacturing market for hundreds of the world’s largest companies.  So if this move is widespread and sustained, it could have a big impact on the world economy.

China’s relationship with foreign companies is starting to sour, as tougher government policies and intensifying domestic competition combine to make one of the world’s most important markets less friendly to multinationals.

Interviews with executives, lawyers, and consultants with long experience in China point to developments they say are making it much harder for many foreign companies to succeed. They say the changes suggest Beijing is reassessing China’s long-standing emphasis on opening its economy to foreign business—epitomized by the changes it made to join the World Trade organisation in 2001—and tilting toward promoting dominant state companies.

In the latest broadside against foreign firms, authorities in a wealthy province near Shanghai on Tuesday assailed the quality of luxury clothing brands from the West, including Hermès, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana.

Read the whole thing at the WSJ ($) >

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