Xiao Yaqing, Director of State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), took questions from the media on Saturday, with the topics ranging from China’s State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) to mixed-ownership reform.
Here are the highlights of what Xiao talked about at the press conference:
On SOEs’ revenues:
In 2017, the operating revenues of State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) reached 50 trillion yuan ($7.9 trillion), up 14.7 percent from last year.
Operating revenues of central enterprises totaled 26.4 trillion yuan, with profits reaching 1.42 trillion yuan. The figures are highest in the last five years.
Xiao said significant progress has been made in infrastructure projects. In a documentary movie, “Amazing China”, eye-catching projects like bridges, roads, harbors and networks have been constructed by central enterprises.
Central enterprises also implement corporate social responsibility plans and make efforts toward targeted poverty alleviation, facilitating faster and more affordable Internet connection, he added.
Central enterprises are also confident about their performance in 2018, emphasizing quality and promoting the development of industries. Meanwhile, central enterprises also undertake infrastructure projects, said Xiao.
On reform of SOEs and assets:
Measures with regard to State-owned enterprises and assets reform will be deepened, said Xiao, adding that reform pilots will be further extended this year.
A campaign — “double hundred” — will be launched this year to choose one hundred SOE subsidiaries and another hundred key local state-owned enterprises to push forward comprehensive reforms, said Xiao.
Reforms will be extended to grass-roots level and the focus will shift from enterprises to assets.
Xiao also talked about improving SOE structure, promoting strategic reorganization and solving problems left over by history.
On mixed-ownership reforms:
Speaking of encouraging foreign investors participating in the mixed-ownership reforms, Xiao vowed that the benefits and profits of the investors will be protected.
“Two batches of enterprises are in a testing process for mixed-ownership reforms,” Xiao said. “We encourage all types of enterprises to participate in the reform. “
On 48 Chinese companies among Fortune Global 500:
Forty-eight Chinese State-owned enterprises were among Fortune Global 500 companies in 2017.
“They are not small enterprises, but there’s still a long way for them to achieve high-quality development,” he said.
Speaking of narrowing the gap between Chinese and global corporations, Xiao said. “China should boost stronger industries, accelerate the transformation and upgrading of manufacturing enterprises.
“China’s high-end equipment manufacturing should move toward global standards, in keeping with the demand for future development.”
On better management of enterprises:
Xiao also noted more resources should be invested in strategic emerging industries, such as large aircraft manufacturing.
The number of “legal persons” should be brought down while the overcapacity of the enterprise should be reduced.
He also called for better management of enterprises, before noting that the practices of internationally reputed companies should be followed.
Overseas investors’ counseling:
Xiao said that government counseling of overseas investors should be fair and they should be not discriminated against in any country.
“As long as each country could open its door and promote trade and globalization, the world will benefit,” Xiao said.
Chinese SOEs should be market players amid competition, added Xiao.
On oversea legal persons of central enterprises:
In 2017, there were 9,112 “overseas legal persons of central enterprises”, with total assets of 6.1 trillion yuan.
“Compared with top-notch international companies, central enterprises still have an enormous distance to cover. The goal of SOE reforms proposed in the 19th CPC National Congress has raised expectations. Central enterprises need to learn from international corporations and enhance opening up and cooperation,” said Xiao.
Under globalization, the internationalization of central enterprises faces greater difficulties with challenges and potential threats.
Central enterprises will be encouraged to broaden the scope of internationalization. SASAC will also strengthen regulatory measures to help central enterprises “go out”, he added.