NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- When China's new leaders take power in the coming months, they will face a Herculean task: Reforming the nation's bloated state-owned or controlled enterprises (SOEs). Or so vowed Wang Yong, head of China's State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), in an Oct. 24 address to China's bi-monthly legislative session.China had 144,700 SOEs as of 2011, excluding state-run banks. Many have restructured over the years, adopting corporate-management principles and floating the strongest subsidiaries on public exchanges, as part of the government's "grasping the big, letting go of the small" initiative. But reforms have largely stalled since 2008, and tens of thousands still lack basic corporate governance. Those enterprises also have clunky balance sheets, inefficient cost structures and low productivity -- but because they're wards of the state, and often run by the Communist Party's inner circle, they can't officially fail. Welcome to crony communism, folks.
Can China Really Reform Crony Communism?
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