The New York TimesThe New York Times

German businesses bet big on China, and they’re starting to worry

By Erika Solomon

07 Jul 2023 · 6 min read

informed Summary

  1. Hawe Hydraulics, a German family business, is grappling with geopolitical tensions as it relies heavily on trade with China and North America. The company is working to reduce its dependence on the Chinese market as tensions rise between China and the West.

KAUFBEUREN, Germany — Amid the ruins of a city ravaged by World War II, Karl Haeusgen’s grandfather invented a hydraulic pump he was so proud of that he founded a company to sell it. Back then, there were no revenue projections or five-year growth strategies. The plan was survival: “It was just about grabbing chances,” Haeusgen said.

Seven decades and three generations later, the family business, Hawe Hydraulics, ships some 2,500 parts around the globe. Instead of scrambling for sales, though, Haeusgen must parse the geopolitics of an ever more polarized world.

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