China to create bigger, stronger State-owned firms

 China aims to create bigger and stronger State-owned enterprises that are capable of competing globally, while phasing out excessive capacity in bloated sectors, according to the country's State-assets regulator.

 

Party delegates from central SOEs attending the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China vowed to make strides in scientific and technological innovation and continue other internal endeavors to enhance the scale and strength of the organizations.

 

The pledges echoed remarks made by General Secretary Xi Jinping at the congress on Wednesday, calling for further SOE reform over the next five years to make them "stronger, better and larger".

 

Guided by important remarks of Xi on SOEs, their scale and strength have remarkably expanded in the past five years, according to Hao Peng, Party secretary of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, the state assets regulator.

 

Assets held by China's centrally-owned enterprises have reached 53 trillion yuan ($8 trillion) by September 2017, up 80 percent from five years ago, Hao said.

 

Meanwhile, profits at central SOEs in the past five years totaled 6.4 trillion yuan, a more than 30 percent jump versus the previous five years.

 

After gaining success in manned space flight, moon exploration, deep-sea detection, high-speed railway, among others, SOEs will step up efforts in world-leading and market-setting technologies to scale up their core competitiveness and bring related industries to develop at the high end of the industrial value chain.

 

"This year, the success of the Tianzhou-1 mission, the launch of a home-made air-craft carrier, and the maiden flight of a home-made large passenger jet demonstrate the strength, key role and great importance of Chinese SOEs," Hao said.

 

For instance, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, one of the nation's major space contractors, will employ its industrial internet expertise to boost intelligent manufacturing in the country, by using big data, artificial intelligence and cloud computing technologies, said its chairman Gao Hongwei.

 

Besides, SOEs will continue to push ahead with the establishment of a modern corporate system, by improving corporate governance structure and the efficiency of capital operation, said Xiao Yaqing, head of the SASAC.

 

Mixed ownership reform, another key measure to rejuvenate state assets with private capital, will be carried out in batches, Xiao noted. So far 68.9 percent of central SOEs have adopted mixed ownership, with some companies conducting employee stock ownership pilot programs in their third-tier subsidiaries.

 

"Meanwhile, we will spare no efforts in resolving excess production capacity and dispose of 'zombie enterprises', which operate with extreme difficulty," he said.

 

For instance, central government-owned companies have also cut steel capacity by more than 16 million metric tons and coal capacity by 55.1 million tons by the end of August.

 


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