Foreign companies in China say they want action from the country's new leaders on easing bureaucracy and improving market access amid a tougher business climate.
Businesses surveyed by the American Chamber of Commerce China show just 28 percent see China's investment environment improving, down from 43 percent a year earlier.
Only 18 percent of the 325 businesses responding said they planned to substantially expand their investments over the next year, down from one-third in the year before.
Slower economic growth, market barriers and government restrictions were main reasons for the more modest investment plans, while rising labor costs were also a concern.
Chamber President Christian Murck said companies were encouraged by recent pro-business pledges from Premier Li Keqiang and other new leaders, but real action is now needed.