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China: Organization
Country Study > Chapter 7 > Industry > Organization


The government managed industry according to type and level of control, using various State Council ministries and commissions In 1987, there were separate ministries for aeronautics, astronautics, chemical, coal, electronics, metallurgy, nuclear-energy, ordnance, petroleum, and textiles industries, light industry, the railways, and water resources and electric power; there were two commissions -- the National Defense Science, Technology, and Industry Commission and the State Machine-Building Industry Commission.

In 1986 the government recognized four types of economic enterprise ownership: "ownership by the whole people" (or state ownership), collective, individual, and other. Under state ownership the productive assets of an enterprise were owned by the state, activities of the enterprise were determined by national economic plans, and profits or losses accrued to the state budget. Most of the largest modernenterprises were state-owned and directly controlled by the central government. Many other enterprises also were state-owned but were jointly supervised by the central government and authorities at the provincial, prefectural, or county levels. Profits from these enterprises were divided among the central and lower-level units

Under collective ownership, productive assets were owned by the workers themselves (in the case of an urban enterprise) or by the members of enterprises established by rural units. Profits and losses belonged to the members of the collective, and government authorities directed the enterprise loosely. Collectively owned enterprises were generally small and labor intensive, employing approximately 27 million people in cities and towns in 1983. Individual ownership belonged to the category of individual handicrafts in the 1950s; by the mid-1980s it also included individual enterprises with a maximum of thirty employees. The Chinese authorities left the "other" category undefined.

Data as of July 1987

Last Updated: July 1987

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for China was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

China Main Page Country Studies Main Page

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