Liberal observers may be reluctant to admit it, but the sad reality is that China's state sector is much more dominant today than at any time in the past 15 years. According to official Chinese data, of the 3,000 or so companies listed on the stock markets, the state sector was responsible for well over two-thirds of the total net profits generated in the past five years. Not surprisingly, the most profitable companies are state-controlled banks, insurers, telecoms and oil majors.
In the unlisted universe, the state either dominates or even monopolizes many important sectors, such as alcohol, tobacco, railways, transport systems, medical care, power generation and distribution, mining, and the defense industries. Even in competitive sectors such as automobiles, shipyards and real estate development, the state still commands significant or even dominant market shares.