Guo Xin, 23, an undergraduate at Nankai University, feels no pressure from China’s economic slowdown. Instead, he sees positive changes encouraging startups.
“The economy is facing great downward pressure, but for entrepreneurs, the business environment has never been better,” said Guo, chief executive officer of an Internet finance company. He established a startup three years ago.
Like Guo, hundreds of thousands of young Chinese have started their own companies or projects in the past year or two as a startup frenzy grips the nation. Partly thanks to serious reforms, especially business registration reform, it is easier than ever to start a business.
China is entering a new stage of slower but more resilient growth, which President Xi Jinping has called the “new normal”, which means an improved economic structure that relies on services, consumption and innovation.
China’s GDP growth held steady at 7 percent in the first half of this year, but another figure－the number of newly registered enterprises－is even more impressive. New registrations jumped 19.4 percent from a year ago to 2.1 million in the first six months.
Yu Fachang with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce said: “Creative, entrepreneurial spirit has been stoked by reform.”
By the end of June, there were around 74.2 million businesses in China, up 7 percent from the end of 2014, the administration’s data showed.
The number of new firms registered in the service sector accounted for 80.3 percent of the increase, or 1.6 million during the first six months, 22.6 percent more than in the same period last year.
This, Yu said, reflects a better economic structure, with the service sector playing “bigger role” in growth and job creation. The sector has become the biggest driver of growth, expanding 8.4 percent in the first half of this year and accounting for 49.5 percent of GDP.
Wang Bao’an, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, said he believes that a new wave of mass entrepreneurship and innovation is in the offing, given the huge success of many startups.
The drive for mass entrepreneurship and innovation along with repeated cuts to red tape are feeding creativity and market vitality, Wang said,
Premier Li Keqiang has repeatedly promised that the government will revolutionize itself to promote mass entrepreneurship and innovation.
Last month, the government announced that those wishing to start their own business would only need to apply to one office for the three essential business certificates, rather than the current regime of visits to three different offices.