China’s Communist party is writing itself into the articles of association of many of the country’s biggest companies in a blow to investor hopes that Beijing would relax its grip on the market, the Financial Times reports. More than 30 Hong Kong-listed state-owned enterprises, representing more than $1tn in market capitalization, have this year added lines to their central documents that place the party, rather than the Chinese state, at the heart of each group. New phrases injected into the articles of association in recent months include describing the party as playing a core role in “an organized, institutionalized and concrete way” and “providing direction [and] managing the overall situation.” The changes are being billed by the companies as part of Beijing’s efforts to improve efficiency and productivity at SOEs, which account for about a fifth of the country’s economic output.
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