Trust in China, India at all-time high

Edelman’s latest Trust Barometer shows that key Asian markets are trusting governments, businesses, media, and NGOs more than ever before.

The spring edition of Edelman's Trust Barometer showed that China, India and South Korea showed an uptick in trust across all sectors in April 2020 compared with January 2020. And as per usual, China is highest in trust globally. Japan, however, recorded a small downturn of two trust points compared to January.

During the pandemic, India and South Korea were shown to trust their government the most when it comes to ensuring medical supplies and care were available even in poorer areas. On the other hand, China regards businesses more highly especially in ensuring workers remain safe.

In all markets, governments have regained the crown as the most trusted sector, overtaking businesses, the media, and NGOs. And where national governments have suffered such as Japan, local governments have stepped up to fill the void.

When it comes to news and information around the pandemic, China and India trust their media sources the most, and South Korea the least.

A running theme across all markets is that COVID-19 has shed light on the gap between the rich and the working class, and that something must be done to more fairly distribute their country's wealth and prosperity. This signal away from capitalism is not a new find, but is certainly exacerbated by the pandemic.

China and India were also found to be most likely to give up personal data for health and location tracking during COVID-19. Japan, on the other hand, is least likely to give out personal information.

Overall, CEOs were ranked poorly during the pandemic with 65% saying that CEOs should take the lead on addressing the pandemic rather than waiting for governments to impose restrictions and demands for their businesses. 60% also said that a global CEO's first priority should be to use the power and resources of their companies to help the people of the country where they are headquartered before helping people in other countries where they do business.

At a time where brands are struggling to balance between cutting costs, taking care of staff and performing altruistic public acts, only 38% say that brands are putting people above profits, protecting their employees' financial wellbeing, or helping their smaller suppliers.

To fix this, some say that businesses should donate more, collaborate with competitors, switch product operations to suit pandemic-related needs, and redefine company goals. Overall, there's an urgent call for businesses to tap its core purpose and focus on solutions rather than sales.


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