Reconciling China’s official statistics on state ownership and control

Author: 
Paul Hubbard
JEL codes: 
Abstract: 
China’s National Bureau of Statistics releases data for China’s industrial sector, fixed asset investment and real estate investment both according to the enterprise’s official registration status, and according to whether the controller of the enterprise is the state. For most applications data for ‘state owned and state-holding companies’ based on the control concept is appropriate, as this includes coverage of SOEs’ listed- and unlisted-subsidiaries. These data show that less than a third of Chinese industrial output, fixed asset investment, and less than twenty per cent of Chinese real estate investment is carried on by companies that are controlled by the state. A broader definition to cover all state ownership would include enterprises that are not ‘state controlled’ but nevertheless include state capital or investment from SOEs. This would capture some additional proportion of the limited liability companies, joint-ventures and shareholding corporations that are in mixed ownership.
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