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The Role of the State-Owned Enterprises in China’s Economy

Of the top 500 companies in China, 316 are State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). They account for 82.82 percent of the total revenue, 90.40% of the total assets, and 81.88% of the total profit of these 500 companies. The top 10 most profitable companies are all SOEs, including three oil companies and five banks.

As of 2007, there were 112,000 SOEs in China, of which 118 were central government owned while the rest were local governments owned.

Until 1994, SOEs had to turn over all their profits to the state’s coffers. From 1994 to 2007, SOEs kept their profits and instead, were required to pay taxes. In 2007, SOEs resumed turning over part of their profits. Depending on different industries, the rates varied from 0 percent, 3 year deferral, to 5 percent and 10 percent. Beginning in 2010, the rates changed to 0 percent, 5 percent, 10 percent, and 15 percent.

The 2011 statistics show that the central government owned SOEs turned over 82.3 billion yuan to the state, accounting for 7.4 percent of their total profits. In 2011 the net profits of these central government owned SOEs went up by 9.7 percent, while the profits they turned over to the State’s coffers increased by 8.7 percent. No explanation was given for the difference in the published official statistics.

(Editor’s note: Although the above information was released at back in April, we believe our readers may find these statistics thought-provoking.)

Source:, April 12, 2012