UK firms retreat as China’s property crisis spooks markets

UK engineering giant Arup has joined the flurry of big firms scaling back large operations in China as the world’s second biggest economy plunges deeper into a property-led downturn.

Arup is one of many major employers shedding staff in China as it struggles to recover from the impact of Covid and a more protectionist America.

On Friday, the Chinese property developer Evergrande filed for bankruptcy protection in the US. That was after compatriot and housebuilder Country Garden, formerly trusted as a safer bet in the industry, missed payments on its debts.

Announcing 200 job cuts in the consultancy’s UK operations, Arup’s deputy chairwoman, Dervilla Mitchell, said it would be scaling back its Chinese operations further, although she declined to put numbers on the retrenchment: “There

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