Reforms to diversify ownership of Chinese state-owned enterprises aren’t going slowly, but are proceeding at a steady pace, a spokesman for the nation’s top advisory body said.
“We should not say the progress is slow,” Wang Guoqing, a spokesman for the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political and Consultative Conference, said in a media briefing in Beijing on Thursday. The CPPCC is convening today as part of its annual joint session with the National People’s Congress.
Since the diversified-ownership scheme was launched in 2015, the central government has started many trials across seven sectors: power; oil; gas; rail; aviation; telecom; and military equipment. These are proceeding at a steady pace, he said.
Wang said the central government will continue to implement these reforms this year.
A collaboration between state-owned capital and private investment is like a journey of love between two young people, he said: the speed of the progress is not the sole indicator. Both sides should be willing to engage in order to obtain a win-win situation, he said.
When promoting diversified-ownership, the central government needs to avoid any loss of state-owned assets while protecting private investors’ rights, he said. From the perspective of private investors, if they cannot have a say or protect their own rights in a company that has mixed-ownership, they will lack incentives to invest, he said.
Two private companies acquired a combined 91.6% stake in Luneng Group, a state-owned power-generating company in Shandong province, for about 3.73 billion yuan (US$480 million), far below the 73.8 billion yuan total asset value of the company, Caijing magazine reported in 2007.
Boxun.com reported that Zeng Wei, the son of former vice president Zeng Qinghong, and Xiao Jianhua, founder of the Tomorrow Group, were the ultimate buyers of Luneng.
Xiao was taken away in a wheelchair from the Hong Kong Four Seasons hotel on January 27 with his head covered, Reuters and the New York Times reported, citing multiple eyewitnesses. The tycoon was said to be abducted by the mainland security officials.
The CPPCC session will end on March 13. The annual session of the NPC opens March 5 and goes until March 15.