BEIJING — Chinese State-owned enterprises (SOEs) saw 23.5 percent profit growth last year, a contrast to the 1.7-percent profit growth in 2016, thanks to continued SOEs reform to boost efficiency and vitality.
Combined SOE profits rose to 2.9 trillion yuan ($453.2 billion) for 2017, the Ministry of Finance said on Jan 23.
The profit growth remained unchanged from the reading in the first 11 months last year and was higher than the 21.7-percent expansion seen in the first eight months.
SOE business revenue totaled 52.2 trillion yuan last year, up 13.6 percent from a year earlier.
By the end of December 2017, total SOE assets stood at 151.7 trillion yuan, up 10 percent year-on-year, while their liabilities came in at 99.7 trillion yuan, up 9.5 percent from a year earlier.
SOEs in coal, oil and petrochemicals enjoyed relatively large profit increases, but power generation firms suffered significant declines.
Overcapacity, poor corporate governance and low labor productivity had dragged down profits of China’s SOEs, which deteriorated in 2015.
Realizing the significance of SOEs to the country’s sustainable growth, China launched a series of reforms including changing shareholding structure, spinning off noncore assets and more innovation.
In 2017, up to 68.9 percent of the central SOEs were involved in mixed-ownership reforms, and authorities are reviewing plans for more to join the drive.
At the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese leadership pledged to further reforms to make SOEs “stronger, better and bigger,” and turn them into “world-class, globally competitive firms.”