China will open about 80% of its state-owned companies to private investment as part of a plan to reform the state sector, local media reported Wednesday, citing a government researcher.
The government has drafted a plan to cut state domination in most of its economy, leaving 10 companies considered key to state interests solidly in state hands, Li Jin, a researcher affiliated with the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, told Guangzhou-based publication Time Weekly.
The 10 companies that would remain overwhelmingly state-controlled include one military group, six suppliers of resources–such as the China Grain Reserves Corp., China Grid Corp. and the three big oil firms–as well as the three telecommunication network operators, the report said.
The State Council, or cabinet, is leading the state-sector changes, the weekly cited a commission official as saying.
It did not give a timetable for the reform but the report is generally in line with previous reports of changes planned for the state sector.
Some state companies have been struggling due to overcapacity and their own inefficiency. Profits of state-owned companies dropped 29.3% in the first three months of the year, much steeper than the 2.7% decline in profits for the entire industrial sector, official data showed Monday.
The government is also planning a new wave of mergers in the state sector that will reduce the number of companies owned by the central government by nearly two-thirds, the Economic Information Daily reported Monday.