More efforts will be made to support China's market entities or businesses so as to inject market vitality and stabilize economic fundamentals, as the number of market entities hit a record high by the end of last year, according to the country's top market regulator on Thursday.
"Accelerated steps will be made to strengthen fair supervision and create a competitive and orderly environment for market entities, especially in boosting the position of competition policies, improving anti-monopoly law enforcement and preventing disorderly capital expansion," said Pu Chun, deputy head of the State Administration for Market Regulation.
Pu said market entities contribute to 700 million jobs in the country and have helped drive China's GDP to exceed 100 trillion yuan ($15.76 trillion), thus playing a critical role in economic development.
"The country will also continue to reform commercial systems and related rules and regulations for market entities, including regulation covering registration procedures, to stimulate their vitality and creativity," he added.
According to the SAMR, the number of registered market entities nationwide reached a new peak of 154 million by the end of last year, up 11.1 percent year-on-year, of which 48.42 million are enterprises and 103 million are individual, or self-employed, industrial and commercial households.
Last year alone, more than 28.87 million market entities were newly established, marking a year-on-year increase of 15.4 percent. Among them, 3.84 million are new economy-related, accounting for 42.5 percent of the total number of newly established enterprises over the period.
"Notably, foreign-funded enterprises continued to see an upward trend since the second half of last year with 61,000 such companies being newly set up last year, 23.3 percent higher year-on-year, which fully demonstrates the improvement of China's business environment and the attractiveness of this super-large market to foreign investors," said Yang Hongcan, head of the registration bureau at the SAMR.
Wang Peng, associate professor at the Hillhouse Research Institute, the Renmin University of China in Beijing, said: "To some extent, China's economy will see good momentum if market entities, especially smaller businesses, remain sound. Many of them are increasingly being recognized for their role as leaders for new concepts and new business models.
"But they tend to become vulnerable while facing external pressures like soaring raw material costs. So, more targeted efforts are needed to relieve the challenges."
The SAMR also said on Thursday that more efforts will be made to help small and medium-sized enterprises. Over the past year, the administration and related authorities have offered free training to more than 90,000 enterprises, and 127 certified bodies have offered targeted assistance to more than 5,000 SMEs across 36 industries.
"Such efforts have offered some practical help to smaller businesses like us. A more timely policy will help bail out some temporary difficulties, especially those arising from COVID-19," said Guo Hua, head of Yuebin Restaurant in Beijing.