China will accelerate the development of its over-the-counter (OTC) stock market by first opening it to qualified high-tech firms and then expanding participation to other sectors, local media said on Tuesday.
China will gradually expand the OTC trading program to other companies across the country as part of an effort to help small businesses raise funds, the Shanghai Securities News reported, citing an official from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).
The securities regulator also said it would improve the trading platform as well as tighten supervision of the market.
China established the first OTC stock trading pilot program in Beijing's Zhongguancun Science Park in 2006. It is similar to the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board in the United States and provides an electronic financing platform for non-listed start-up companies to raise funds.
There are about 70 high-tech start-up companies traded in China's OTC market.
Plans to develop the market come as part of Beijing's promise to bolster financing for smaller businesses during the 12th Five-Year Plan.
The Chinese government is hoping growth of small-and-medium enterprises -- which account for around 80 percent of the nation's jobs -- will support the economy and strengthen employment.