New guidance to help private firms

2023-07-20 08:22:07China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

A view of the booth of Tencent at an expo in Shanghai. (CHINA DAILY)

China's latest guidance to promote development of the private sector will give full play to the dynamic role of entrepreneurs in driving employment and stimulating economic growth, and will give them the "greatest confidence" to develop amid rising economic uncertainties, company executives and industry experts said on Wednesday.

They made the comments as the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, the country's Cabinet, released a document on Wednesday detailing a total of 31 measures to drive development of private enterprises, which include breaking down market barriers and protecting rights of entrepreneurs abroad.

Pony Ma, chairman and CEO of leading tech company Tencent Holdings, said the guidance directly addresses concerns of entrepreneurs regarding business environment, policy support, regulatory guidance, legal protections as well as public opinion atmosphere, and introduces practical policy measures.

"Notably, the guidance has made clear the development direction of platform companies, which will greatly boost our determination and motivation for future development," Ma said.

The guidance said that more efforts will be made to support platform companies to develop in the direction of openness, innovation and empowerment, and to support platform companies in creating jobs, expanding consumption and engaging in international competition.

Ma said: "China's platform economy has entered a brand-new development period, and the traditional business development model is being transformed and renewed. The value of platform companies in driving (consumption) demand, innovative development, employment, entrepreneurship and public services is waiting to be fully tapped into. It sets clear the goal of platform enterprises to be open and innovative as well as enablers during future development."

Ma added that Tencent will develop in line with these directions to be a connector, a toolbox and an assistant, and promote its consumer internet business to boost domestic demand, enhance its industrial internet business to help drive innovative development of the country's modernization, and beef up competitiveness of the company's overseas business.

Yang Hui, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and chairman of Yunzhanghu, an online flexible job platform, said that the guideline has given the "greatest confidence" to private enterprises and entrepreneurs to develop in the future.

"As the guidance has launched very detailed policies, private enterprises need not worry about whether they can expand investment, but only need to consider whether their business model is feasible, and to develop with greater resources input and the most positive attitude," Yang said.

The private sector has been a driver of the nation's economic growth and innovative development. Private firms contributed about 50 percent of the country's tax revenue, 60 percent of GDP and 70 percent of technological innovation, said the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

According to the latest data from the State Administration for Market Regulation, the nation's top market regulator, the number of registered private enterprises exceeded 50.93 million by the end of May.

As the guidance also proposed to protect the physical and financial safety of entrepreneurs overseas and build a cooperation mechanism to prevent and resolve risks, Lei Jun, founder of smartphone firm Xiaomi Corp, said that it made them feel reassured and more encouraged and resilient to go boldly abroad for business opportunities.

Liu Shangxi, president of the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences, said in an earlier interview that economic recovery was weaker than expected in the first half, and that to stabilize market expectations, a "long-acting reassurance pill" must be given to private companies.

Noting that private investment has experienced negative growth in past months, he emphasized that the confidence of private enterprises, which are critical drivers of the country's economic growth, must be bolstered.

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