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China Watch: Breaking Down Barriers to Private Business

An earlier statement from the plenary session played up renewing attention to old China issues such as fair competition and the pursuit of transparent regulations, not bad for business, but not specific enough to be worth a move.

The earlier statement also made "passing reference to elimination of market barriers to investment," the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China wrote on Nov. 13. Again fine, but what does it mean?

Something we're pretty sure about: Private businesses still won't stand up to state-owned enterprises, as economists were disappointed with how little the plenary session pledged to reform the giant government companies in industries such as telecoms and energy.

Private business barriers will still be dismantled. It's just that state-owned enterprises won't lose anything along the way except maybe higher utility rates.

"The good news is that SOE reform is in the agenda, unlike what we expected two to three months ago," investment bank Credit Suisse wrote in a research note. "However, the measures are very mild, without mentioning the need to break down the state-owned monopolies in the key strategy sectors."

At the time of publication, the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

Ralph Jennings is on LinkedIn.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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