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China to Corporatize State Firms by 2017, Xinhua Affiliate Says

China plans to finish corporatizing state-owned enterprises this year to pave the way for partial privatization of such firms, according to a newspaper affiliated with the official Xinhua News Agency.

All SOEs will complete "corporatization reform" within this year, the Economic Information Daily said on Monday, citing the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. In 2015, China’s State Council said the setup of corporate structures at SOEs would be completed by 2020 as part of broader reforms among state enterprises.

As China pushes to overhaul its 131.7 trillion yuan ($19 trillion) state sector, the government is prompting its firms to set up boards and corporate structures to open them up to private capital. In October, China United Network Communications Corp, China Eastern Air Holding Co. and four other central SOEs were selected to come up with plans for mixed-ownership reforms -- China’s preferred term for partial privatization.

Sasac, the government branch that governs SOEs, didn’t immediately reply to a faxed request for comment.

Among subsidiaries of SOEs managed by the central government, 92 percent have completed the process of corporatizing, according to the report.

— With assistance by Jing Yang De Morel

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