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Debt-Saddled China Railway Restructures in Line With State Sector Reform Push

By Isabelle Li / Jun 18, 2019 08:03 PM / Business & Tech

China’s massive state-owned national railway network operator has given itself a shiny new coat of paint.

China Railway Corp. (CRC) has renamed itself China State Railway Group Co. Ltd. (CR) and adopted a more market-oriented corporate structure, the company said in a statement (link in Chinese) on its website Tuesday.

The revamp brings the company into line with a national push for reform of China's state-owned enterprises. The new group will have a board of directors and a management team but no shareholder meetings. The Chinese government will remain the company’s sole shareholder, with the Ministry of Finance performing investor duties at the company on behalf of the State Council. The restructured group will inherit CRC’s significant existing debts, as well as its rights, qualifications and intellectual property.

Former CRC executives, 63-year-old Lu Dongfu and 50-year-old Yang Yudong, will continue to head the group as its president and general manager.

CRC, which has built the world’s largest high-speed rail network, has been criticized for accruing massive debts while doing so. These amounted to 5.27 trillion yuan by the end of March 2019, according to CRC’s financial reports.

Caixin reported last year that CRC was planning to list the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway line — one of its more profitable lines — which was seen as an attempt to seek more funds for expensive infrastructure building.

Related: Slashing Beijing-Shanghai Line’s Registered Capital Was 'Technical Move,' Operator Says

Contact reporter Isabelle Li (liyi@caixin.com)

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