BEIJING — China's central State-owned enterprises (SOEs) have been asked to reduce or waive rents for small businesses in a bid to cut the latter's operating costs and bolster the slowing economy, according to the country's top State-owned asset regulator.
A circular, issued by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council earlier this week, said that small and micro firms in the services sector and self-employed businesses which have rented premises from central SOEs and encountered financial difficulties, should be exempted from rent for at least three months in the first half of the year.
Central SOEs should not delay the reduction or exemption for qualifying small and self-employed businesses for any reason, said the circular.
The move is part of the country's efforts to support small and micro businesses hurt by the COVID-19 epidemic. China has cut bench mark lending rates, introduced tax breaks and increased lending to them with the aim of stabilizing employment and propping up the virus-hit economy.