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CRC puts new face on old monopoly

(Global Times)

08:20, March 18, 2013

On Thursday, the China Railway Corporation (CRC) was established to carry out the business functions of the Ministry of Railways (MOR).

For years, the market has been calling on authorities to end the MOR's monopoly on the rail industry by breaking up its dual role as a commercial entity and a government department. However, many have been disappointed so far with the government's fracturing of the ministry.

Based on its description, it's hard to see the CRC as anything but a giant State-owned enterprise (SOE) that will monopolize the rail industry. The CRC will essentially take over 4.3 trillion yuan ($160.9 billion) in assets from the 18 local rail bureaus which existed under the MOR. It will also be operating the country's 91,000 kilometers of rail tracks. With so much of China's rail resources already within its grasp, no company will be able to come forward with the capital or the power to enter the industry, let alone compete with the CRC.

The author is Lu Ning, a media personality.

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