New head of market regulator appointed

BEIJING (China Daily /ANN) - The State Council, or China’s Cabinet, appointed Xiao Yaqing, the nation’s former top State assets regulator, as the minister of the State Administration of Market Regulation, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security announced on Tuesday. 

The reshuffle of senior officials came after Zhang Mao, the former head of the State Administration of Market Regulation, reached the mandatory retirement age of 65. Hao Peng, current Party secretary of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, will take full charge of the SASAC. 

Xiao was general manager of State-owned Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd before becoming deputy secretary-general of the State Council in 2009. He was appointed chairman of the SASAC in 2016, tasked with deepening reform of the nation’s SOEs. 

Under Xiao’s leadership, the SASAC has been advancing a mixed-ownership reform pilot program to let private businesses better engage in SOE reform by having more access to the sector, said Li Jin, chief researcher at the China Enterprise Research Institute in Beijing.

The commission also took a number of measures to adjust the asset structure of SOEs, such as the merger of China Guodian Corp and Shenhua Group, as well as China Grain Reserves Group Ltd and China National Cotton Reserves Corp. It also took steps to reform the State-owned capital authorization management system and tighten supervision of SOEs’ investment in overseas markets. 

Born in 1959 in Beijing, Xiao will be the second person to head the State Administration of Market Regulation since it was established in March 2018.

The SASAC oversees areas including company registration, intellectual property protection, antitrust reviews, market competition, product quality, and food safety and drug approvals. 

At the administration, Xiao’s main task will be promoting market-based economic activity as this is the key to overall and steady economic growth, said Wan Zhe, chief economist at Beijing-based China National Gold Group. 


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