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People walk through the Shanghai Stock Exchange. "At the end of the day, we follow the arrangements of the big shareholder," said newly appointed China Mobile Chairman Yang Jie.   © Reuters
The Big Story

Activist investors meet their match in China

Open attacks on Chinese corporate governance are rare from typically outspoken investors

RYUSHIRO KODAIRA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

HONG KONG -- To outside shareholders, the process of appointing a new chairperson at a Chinese state-owned enterprise can be a confusing affair. Take the recent example of two supposedly competing Chinese telecom carriers, China Mobile and China Telecom.

On March 4, two separate filings with the Hong Kong Exchange revealed that the chairmen of both companies were stepping down. Shang Bing of China Mobile was retiring, while Yang Jie of China Telecom was quitting -- and succeeding Shang at the rival company.

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