Private firm owners 'not that rich'

By Xin Dingding (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-02-10 08:42

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Private entrepreneurs are not as rich as people think, a recent survey shows.

However, this highly educated group of people want to play a bigger role in the country's social and political life.

They support the leadership of the Party, because they believe they are the direct beneficiaries of its opening-up policy and stable social conditions, according to the survey.

The survey was conducted by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce in the first half of last year.

It was the seventh national survey on private enterprises and received almost 4,000 responses.

Compared with the results of the previous survey in 2004, the latest one found the number of private enterprises was increasing rapidly following the issue of 36 measures by the State Council in 2005 to support development of the private economy.

In 18 months, the number of private enterprises increased by 1 million.

The number of self-employed individuals also reversed the dipping trend since 1999, reaching 25 million in 2006.

Nearly 90 percent of the private entrepreneurs are aged between 33 and 57.

The number of former government officials, managers and technicians is increasing among the group, accounting for two-thirds of the total. In 2004, these three categories of people accounted for only one-third of the total.

"It is a fundamental change and signals social progress. China lacks such highly educated entrepreneurs," said Bao Yujun, president of the All-China Society of Private Economic Research, at a news conference in Beijing on Friday to detail results of the survey.

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