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China aims to strengthen reform in state-owned companies


03-06-2017 09:33 BJT

Full coverage: 2017 NPC & CPPCC Sessions

(Source: CGTN)

Structural reform is perhaps best exemplified by the changes that state-owned enterprises have been obliged to undergo in recent years. To understand how SOEs are shaping up to meet the new demands, one such enterprise in the southern city of Guangzhou has gone through years of reform to arrive at where it is today.

Established in 1956, Guangzhou Pearl River Piano is one of the oldest piano makers in China. But as a traditional state-owned enterprise, its business model had been inefficient for many years. So it had to reform itself.

"Through SOE reform, the shareholding structure has changed. With more private capital, state-owned assets decreased from 100 to 81 percent. We also expanded our businesses to digital musical instruments and music education through online platforms," Yang Weihua, board secretary of Guangzhou Pearl River Piano Group, said.

The changes gave the company a new lease on life. The company said its reforms have not only enabled it to become the world's largest piano maker, but also allowed it to operate off a more diversified business plan.

China has about 150 thousand SOEs. National People's Congress Deputy Xiang Xiaomei said more efforts are needed to deepen reforms in the sector.

"On the one hand, the central government is suggesting giving the companies more space, while creating a more flexible business environment. But on the other, these SOEs need to keep innovating and improving their efficiency levels," NPC deputy Xiang Xiaomei said.

China is promoting a "mixed ownership” model -- where the private sector can invest in SOEs -- as part of reforms. So maybe sooner, rather than later, many of China's SOEs can play on the same pitch as Guangzhou Pearl River Piano.

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