Title: Chinese state owned enterprises: an observer's guide

Authors: Paul Hubbard; Patrick Williams

Addresses: Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Australia ' Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Australia

Abstract: Not all of China's SOEs have evolved equally. To understand modern SOEs the paper contrasts the giant centrally owned firms in the energy and utilities sectors under the control of the central state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) in Beijing - some of which have financial resources comparable to medium-sized countries - with the tens of thousands of provincially and locally owned SOEs that have survived reform with various degrees of state ownership and across all sectors. The paper finds that giant central SOEs may be politically important to Beijing, but most SOEs are provincial and local businesses operating in competitive, rather than monopolistic, environments. Instead of dealing with SOEs as a class, the challenge for policymakers is to deal with market structures that undermine competition, and to regulate socially harmful behaviour, irrespective of the ultimate owner of the capital involved.

Keywords: Chinese economy; state-owned enterprises; SOEs; reform.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPP.2017.086049

International Journal of Public Policy, 2017 Vol.13 No.3/4/5, pp.153 - 170

Received: 01 Aug 2015
Accepted: 28 Jan 2016

Published online: 22 Aug 2017 *

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