China puts end to monopoly on power industry

Dec 30, 2002 01:00 AM

China put an end to the monopoly on the country's power industry on the last Sunday of 2002. The State Power Corporation, which owned 46 % of China's electricity generation assets and 90 % of the electricity supply assets, was broken up into 11 smaller companies.

The birth time of these companies implied something. China's State Council approved the plan to restructure the power industry in March. According to a timetable, the new companies would be set up within the year.
"It took us only 10 months to complete this huge job, which is rarely seen in other countries," said Zhang Guobao, vice-minister in charge of the State Development Planning Commission (SDPC).

China is the world's second largest electricity generation and consumption market, and the State Power Corporation was a giant with nearly 2 mm employees. The price of its electricity affected the daily lives of most Chinese people.
The completion of restructuring the power industry is a milestone, according to Zeng Peiyan, minister in charge of the SDPC.

Over the past few years, China has made marked progress in its campaign against industrial monopoly. The break-up of China Telecom and the establishment of six civil aviation companies have levelled the ground for market competition in these industries.
This year, China also reshuffled the monopolized industries of tobacco and gold mining. The restructuring of the power industry was the latest move by the Chinese government to accelerate the process of liberalizing the market.

Source: Xinhua
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