State-owned enterprises (SOE’s) and the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) have been getting a lot of bad press recently. Rather than solve the underlying problems causing the bad news, the China Media Project (CMP), a project affiliated with Hong Kong University that specializes in following trends in the Chinese media, has recently reported how SASAC has “encouraged state-owned enterprises to set up press offices to combat “negative news”” and essentially sweep the problems under the rug. As CLB has previously reported, SASAC’s is one of the primary players in the deciding how to restructure SOE’s, and its role is often controversial and troubled, as in the Tonghua incident. Although this new attempt to control information and to “channel public opinion” is somewhat distressing and may eventually prove ineffective, it may also be one of the only recourses available to troubled enterprises, barring a systematic solution to SOE management that includes worker empowerment.
08 September 2009