China announced on Thursday it will liberalize the price control on salt from January 1, 2017, as part of the country's broad efforts to end the 2,000-year-old state monopoly on the salt industry.
According to a statement published by the State Council, China's cabinet, the price of all salt-related products will be decided by the market, and private investors will be allowed to join the salt industry by partnering with existing salt companies.
The State Council also said salt production and distribution companies will be allowed to sell salt in different regions.
The policy will be officially implemented from January 1, 2017 after a transition period so that local governments and companies can prepare for the policy change.
The reform is aimed to revive vitality in the salt industry which is currently monopolized by state companies.
China is one of the largest salt-consuming nations due to its expanding chemical industry and the dietary needs of its nearly 1.4 billion people.