Date
20 October 2017
Xi Jinping Replaces Hu Jintao as China Communist Party Chief

The Big Picture: MEASURED APPROACH

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Wednesday that it will step up efforts to carry out reforms in the investment and financing markets and in the pricing of natural resources. The announcement came a day after a top Communist Party meeting unveiled a raft of directives to restructure the economy.

The NDRC, the nation’s key economic planning agency, expects significant progress in improving the socialist market economy by pushing reform forward, chairman and party secretary Xu Shaoshi {徐紹史} told senior officials during an internal meeting on Wednesday. In speeding up reform, the NDRC will take into account the country’s real situation, Xu said, adding that the agency will strive to enhance collaboration among government departments at various levels.

Zhang Yi {張毅}, vice chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), said the decision by the communist leadership to restructure the economy has long-term implications for state-owned enterprises (SOEs). 

It will strengthen SASAC’s hand in improving efficiency in the state firms and speed up industrial upgrading and technological innovation. The state assets regulator will establish a mechanism for resolving problems that may arise from the reform process, Zhang said.

The latest comments by the NDRC and SASAC strengthen the market view that SOEs have actually been the winners at the party plenum. “Anti-monopoly” seems to have become a taboo as the party called for maintaining public economy as a core part of the whole economic system during the introduction of private economy, observers said.

Prior to the plenum, there had been rumors that Beijing may allow private capital to own up to 15 percent stakes in SOEs, but the SASAC has denied such a plan. People should not expect any significant changes, such as spin-off and share sales, among the state-owned giants in the coming years, according to observers.

Meanwhile, the State Council, after a weekly meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang {李克強}, said on Wednesday that the central government will start making reform plans for 2014, which will include a change in government function, fiscal system and pricing mechanism. The cabinet called for all government departments to push forward the reforms.

MIIT to cut administrative approvals list by a third

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said Wednesday that it will slash the list of items requiring its administrative approvals by at least a third by 2015 to minimize its influence on resource allocation, China News Service reported. Resource allocation should be determined more by the market, the ministry said. It also said that it will continue to encourage and facilitate private capital into the domestic telecom industry. The ministry said it will play an active role in formulating policies relating to taxation, financing, pricing of resource products and state-owned companies.

Baidu said to have been sued over illegal video links

An alliance of online video providers has sued Chinese internet search giant Baidu Inc. for allegedly providing illegal links to more than 10,000 copyrighted videos on its website, and is seeking 300 million yuan (US$49.22 million) in damages, China Securities Journal reported Thursday. The China Online Video Anti-Piracy Alliance, comprising Youku Tudou Inc., Sohu TV, Tencent TV and seven other internet video operators, said it has prohibited Baidu from providing the unauthorized links which have led to the theft of their video content. 

 –Contact HKEJ at [email protected]

JP/AC/RC

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