A factory belonging to the Inner Mongolia North Heavy Industries Group Corp. Photo: SASAC

China would continue to promote the “double-hundred action” to strengthen the upcoming three-year action plan for reform of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which is expected to sharpen their core competitiveness and strengthen dynamism for sustained growth, senior officials said on Tuesday.

The “double-hundred action” is a campaign led by the Leading Group for State-owned Enterprises Reform of the State Council. It selects more than a hundred subsidiaries of the centrally administered SOEs, and more than a hundred local SOEs to implement reforms such as taking the lead in making breakthroughs in key fields, between 2018 and 2020.

The campaign constitutes part of the central government’s efforts for deepening SOE reforms to boost productivity and make huge companies more geared towards the market.

In addition to pushing mixed-ownership reform in an active yet steady way during the three-year action plan period, the headquarters of SOEs must guide their subsidiaries taking part in the “double-hundred action,” to review their works, formulate reform plan and goals for the next three years.

All the documents should be submitted to the government before the end of December, said Weng Jieming, vice-chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) of the State Council.

In the two years since the “double-hundred action” was implemented, more than 400 SOEs have participated in the campaign and achieved reforms in key industries and operational links. More than 80% of these companies have established a board of directors, with a majority of directors from outside of the companies, according to data released by the SASAC.

Xinjiang’s epidemic

Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has completed Covid-19 testing for all 4.75 million people in its southern prefecture of Kashgar following the recent new local cases.

As of 5pm on Tuesday, Kashgar had five confirmed Covid-19 cases and 178 asymptomatic ones, all in Shufu county. Apart from the 183 cases, all the remaining population tested negative in Kashgar, said Li Linyu, party chief of the Kashgar prefectural health commission.

Li said investigations have shown the new cases have no relation to the cluster in the regional capital of Urumqi in July and source tracing for the new cases in Shufu is underway.

Yuan pricing

Some Chinese banks have phased out the use of the “counter-cyclical” factor in the pricing mechanism of the yuan’s central parity rate against the greenback, the country’s forex regulator says.

Market-making banks have made the move on their own initiative based on their judgment of economic fundamentals and market situations, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS).

The adjustment could help improve the transparency and effectiveness of the yuan’s existing pricing model, the CFETS said.

Since the start of the year, exchange rates of the Chinese renminbi have maintained two-way fluctuations based on market supply and demand and demonstrated greater flexibility, the regulator said, citing the stable foreign exchange market in the country and equilibrium in the international balance of payments.

To curb forex market fluctuations driven by irrational sentiment, China’s forex regulator introduced the counter-cyclical adjustment factor to the existing pricing model of the yuan’s central parity rate against the US dollar in May 2017.

Integrated circuit industrial base

An integrated circuit industrial base was officially inaugurated in Shanghai on Tuesday, with 14 projects worth 22.5 billion yuan (about US$3.36 billion) signed agreements to be located in the base.

The projects cover the whole production chain of the integrated circuit industry, including chip manufacturing and design as well as equipment and key materials manufacturing.

The base, dubbed “oriental chips harbor,” is located in the Lingang Area, a new section of the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone. So far, the area has received more than 40 major integrated circuit enterprises, with a total investment of over 150 billion yuan, according to the area’s administration.

According to a development plan released by the administration, the “oriental chip harbor” will boast an industrial size of 100 billion yuan by 2025.

Company news

Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) firm iFLYTEK posted a sharp rise in net profit in the first three quarters of this year amid a boost in development of the AI industry.

The company made a net profit of 554 million yuan (US$82.67 million) in the period, up 48.36% year-on-year. Revenue was up 10.82% to 7.28 billion yuan.

In the third quarter, the company’s net profit surged 60.79% to 296 million yuan while revenue increased 25.16% to 2.94 billion yuan from the same period last year.

After recording a loss due to the impact of Covid-19 in the first quarter of 2020, the company bounced back in the second and third quarters as production resumed and many AI-driven businesses were launched.

The stories were compiled by Nadeem Xu and Shan Hui and first published at ATimesCN.com.

Xu Yuenai

Xu Yuenai is a Beijing-based columnist specializing in international relations.