Technicians from the State Grid Zhejiang Electric Power Company, a subsidiary of the national power company State Grid, check power lines in Zhoushan, Zhejiang. In China, state-owned enterprises employ about a fifth of the labour force – about 70 million people – the equivalent of almost the entire population of France. Photo: Xinhua Technicians from the State Grid Zhejiang Electric Power Company, a subsidiary of the national power company State Grid, check power lines in Zhoushan, Zhejiang. In China, state-owned enterprises employ about a fifth of the labour force – about 70 million people – the equivalent of almost the entire population of France. Photo: Xinhua
Technicians from the State Grid Zhejiang Electric Power Company, a subsidiary of the national power company State Grid, check power lines in Zhoushan, Zhejiang. In China, state-owned enterprises employ about a fifth of the labour force – about 70 million people – the equivalent of almost the entire population of France. Photo: Xinhua
Bernard Chan
Opinion

Opinion

Bernard Chan

China’s much-maligned SOEs should be seen more as social enterprises

  • The dominance of Chinese state-owned enterprises has become a source of friction with global markets
  • But, as well as seeking maximum profits, they also play a special role by maintaining social stability, often behaving counter to market forces and hiring more in hard times

Technicians from the State Grid Zhejiang Electric Power Company, a subsidiary of the national power company State Grid, check power lines in Zhoushan, Zhejiang. In China, state-owned enterprises employ about a fifth of the labour force – about 70 million people – the equivalent of almost the entire population of France. Photo: Xinhua Technicians from the State Grid Zhejiang Electric Power Company, a subsidiary of the national power company State Grid, check power lines in Zhoushan, Zhejiang. In China, state-owned enterprises employ about a fifth of the labour force – about 70 million people – the equivalent of almost the entire population of France. Photo: Xinhua
Technicians from the State Grid Zhejiang Electric Power Company, a subsidiary of the national power company State Grid, check power lines in Zhoushan, Zhejiang. In China, state-owned enterprises employ about a fifth of the labour force – about 70 million people – the equivalent of almost the entire population of France. Photo: Xinhua
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