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Chinese trust business more than media and NGOs

While China’s trust in the institutions of business, government, media and NGOs decreased last year, it remained among the highest in the world, according to the 2017 Edelman trust barometer China.

A trust decline in all four institutions comes as no surprise in a year that saw trust drop in 21 out of 28 markets studied worldwide. However, trust in China’s institutions showed resilience, with China ranking as the world’s third most trusting market.

Overall, China saw a six-point drop in trust, with trust in media (65%), NGOs (61%) and business (67%) all declining.


However, while trust in government (76%) also saw a modest dip, China’s trust in government still ranks the highest in the world.

Meanwhile, it was the first time that trust in business came ahead of media and NGOs, second only to government. This shows there is opportunity for business to be a trusted institution with more than just profit-making as a purpose.

“The implications of a trust decrease are that China’s institutions have an opportunity to rethink how they build trust with their audiences,” said Jeffrey Yu, president of Edelman China.

“More specifically, there is an opportunity for business to take the lead in building trust by defining their purpose in society and working in ways that make this purpose a reality in the communities where they operate.”

The study also shows that business is “expected to do more,” with 75% of respondents believing that “a company can take specific actions that both increase profits and improve the economic and social conditions in the community where it operates.”

This shows an opportunity for business to restore declining trust by exercising a high level of integrity, enhancing engagement with stakeholders and demonstrating commitment to helping solve larger societal challenges.

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