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Business trends

Business openings boom in China, but jobs are a bust

Mom-and-pop shops on the rise as employment opportunities dry up

The majority of new businesses opening up in China are single-owner proprietorships, such as clothing stores,which do not lead to much job creation. (Photo by Issaku Harada)

BEIJING -- China has seen an explosion in new companies over the past few years amid a government effort to encourage entrepreneurship, yet the pace of job creation has plunged, while many workers opt to go into business for themselves.

China had 21.8 million "legal entities" -- a category that includes corporations, government agencies and nonprofits -- at the end of 2018, according to economic census results released this month. That number doubled from the previous tally for 2013 and grew twice as fast as the previous five year period. Corporations made up the vast majority, shooting up 126% to 18.6 million.

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