China says two policies to support business coming soon

China says two policies to support business coming soon

By Joanne Cassar / 20. Jul 2023

China’s economic planner said Thursday that two new policies for supporting non-state-owned businesses will be launched soon.

While it did not specify a date, the policy plans come a day after China’s top party and government leadership announced lengthy “opinions” on supporting non-state-owned businesses.

Business sentiment has generally soured amid lackluster economic growth after China’s initial recovery from the pandemic.

The last three years have also seen heavy-handed crackdowns on internet platform companies, the education and gaming sectors as well as real estate developers.

But even as growth slows, a long-standing debt overhang, among other issues, has made Beijing reluctant to embark on large-scale stimulus.

The two forthcoming policies will focus on promoting business investment and their overall development, Li Chunlin, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, said in Mandarin, translated by CNBC.

He was speaking at a press briefing Wednesday about developing the non-state-owned part of the economy.

In an indication of changing political winds, Li noted the need to “guide society to have a correct understanding of non-state-owned businesses’ contribution and important role.”

In another sign of Beijing’s effort to talk up its support for businesses, Tencent’s Pony Ma wrote in an article published by state media that Wednesday’s announcement of support gives platform companies a path forward.

Tencent confirmed Ma wrote the article.

“These measures play an important role in inspiring and guiding private enterprises to maintain confidence, march forward without (baggage), and boldly pursue development,” Ma said via a company translation.