'Reformist' China holding back private equity

Pro-market rhetoric by China’s leadership belies the reality for private equity firms, for whom overweening regulation impedes industry evolution.

The theme at this year’s Boao Forum for Asia, an annual nexus of politicians and businessmen sponsored by the Chinese government, was the pro-market reforms outlined last year during the leadership’s Third Plenum’.

Private capital was given a high-profile role at the conference, given its potential to both help private companies move up the value chain and to modernise the management of state-owned enterprises.

But according to both private equity executives and former government officials, the current reality is that overweening regulation is hampering the evolution of Chinese private equity.

A panel discussion at Boao on the shift of private equity to buyout strategies,...

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