Shake-up facing information chiefs

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 May, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 May, 1997, 12:00am

Plans have been drafted to create a State Commission for Information to unify the mainland's information industry, an official said.

One of the proposals is to elevate the status of the Ministry of Electronics Industry and incorporate the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications into a commission.

'The new commission will take over the power of the State Council Information Work Leading Group which was formed last year to draft regulations and research policy for developing the industry,' the official said.

The new commission is to be responsible for overall policy formulation, licensing, resource allocation and setting national quality standards for the industry, he said.

'Telecommunications, Internet and industrial products like video recorders, computers and televisions will all be brought under its supervision,' the official said.

For the past two years the electronics industry had generated a six-monthly output value of 128.5 billion yuan (HK$119.89 billion), the official said.

China predicts its computer industry will be worth 60 billion yuan by 2000 with rising market demand and strengthened intellectual property rights protection.

The rapid development of the information industry has also led to a greater wastage of resources.

Chinese leaders hoped that a new commission, empowered to engage in cross-ministry co-ordination, could help to reshape the industry.

They also hoped the new organisation could help to produce new consumers for domestic electronic products.

Other proposals suggest turning the Ministry of Electronics Industry into a corporation or a trade association to manage the industry.

Under the two proposals, the limited power of the ministry may not be sufficient to help development of the industry, the official said.

'The proposal to turn the ministry into a corporation is strongly opposed by many electronics enterprises.

'These enterprises argued that such a corporation would not only monopolise the market, it would also result in greater intervention in their financial and personnel matters,' the official said.