SOE Reformer Named Deputy Head of State Asset Supervisor
Ren Hongbin, an executive who pushed through government-backed reforms at a leading state-owned industrial group, was named deputy chief of the State Council’s powerful State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC).
SASAC oversees China’s massive state-owned enterprise (SOE) sector, which comprises almost 100 centrally administered SOEs with combined assets of 76.2 trillion yuan ($11 trillion) as of the end of 2017. The central government has been pressing to shake up the stodgy state-run sector by bringing in outside investors and encouraging consolidations. Under the mixed-ownership reform initiative, dozens of SOEs have unveiled plans to invite private sector investors into their subsidiaries.
The State Council, China’s cabinet, named Ren to the post of deputy director Friday. He succeeds Xu Fushun, who was removed, according to a statement posted on the website of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. Xiao Yaqing continues as head of SASAC.
Ren, 55, is the former chairman of the state-owned China National Machinery Industry Corp., or Sinomach Group. He is also a member to the National Congress of the Communist Party and an alternate member of the Central Committee of the party.
He joined China National Construction & Agricultural Machinery Import & Export Corp., a subsidiary of Sinomach, in 1986. He worked his way up from sales representative to president. In 2013, he was named chairman of the parent company.
His tenure at Sinomach coincided with Beijing’s push for SOE reform. As the head of Sinomach, Ren oversaw the restructuring of the parent group and pushed through mixed-ownership reform at two subsidiaries. Since 2014, SASAC and other ministries have orchestrated more than a dozen mergers in various sectors that involved more than $1 trillion in assets as part of a campaign to consolidate state assets.
In 2013, Sinomach merged with state-owned China National Erzhong Group, a Sichuan-based maker of smelting and forging equipment. In 2017, Sinomach took over the state-owned textile machinery maker China Hi-Tech Group Corp.
Following the restructuring, Sinomach has more than 40 wholly or majority-owned subsidiaries, including 12 listed companies. The company ranks 256 on the 2017 Fortune 500 list.
Last year, Sinomach’s state-owned research subsidiary, China National Electric Apparatus Research Institute, completed a mixed-ownership and employee stock-option reform by bringing in three private companies as strategic investors. About 450 key employees also become shareholders of the company.
Ren resigned from Sinomach earlier this month. Director and General Manager Zhang Xiaokun was named interim chairman.
Additionally, SASAC announced the appointment and removal of several other officials Friday. They included Peng Huagang, who was named secretary general of SASAC replacing Yan Xiaofeng, and Bai Yingzi, who became the chief accountant replacing Shen Ying.
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