PLAY FAIR: Major multinational companies appealed to Chinese President Xi Jinping to reduce barriers to doing business in China's government-directed economy, drawing a commitment to create a more level playing field.

TANGLED IN TAPE: Executives from PepsiCo, Samsung, Volvo and other companies complained about red tape, restrictions on investment that favor Chinese state firms and outright discrimination because of political problems.

BETTER DAYS? Though their investment has helped drive China's booming economy, foreign businesses often felt their concerns got short shrift. Since taking over in November, Xi has talked about the need for the leadership to curb corruption.