General Electric Co Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt said the Chinese government was growing increasingly protectionist and his manufacturing conglomerate was eyeing better prospects elsewhere, the Financial Times reported.
Speaking to business executives in Rome, Immelt also called the national mood in the United States terrible and voiced concern about excessive federal regulation in response to the global financial crisis, saying it would mute a tepid economic recovery, the paper said.
Immelt accused China of being increasingly hostile to foreign multinationals, the FT reported. I am not sure that in the end they want any of us to win, or any of us to be successful, it quoted him as saying in the report published on Thursday.
A GE spokesman was not immediately available for comment, but the FT reported GE as saying in a statement that Immelt's remarks had been taken out of context and that he had also discussed the attractiveness and importance of China as a market for GE.
Referring to the United States, the FT quoted him as saying, People are in a really bad mood.
We are a pathetic exporter ... we have to become an industrial powerhouse again, but you don't do this when government and entrepreneurs are not in synch.
(Reporting by Franklin Paul; editing by John Wallace)