The Ministry of Finance is striving to control the sale of state power companies to private firms, according to 21st Century Business Herald, in a bid to prevent hard-up local governments selling assets at knockdown prices. The ministry has ordered the governments of Sichuan, Chongqing, Shandong and Anhui to reveal how much private capital had been invested in the power sector.
According to the newspaper, assets in more than 100 Sichuan power companies owned by county governments had been sold. In one county, a power company with assets of Yn110m was sold for Yn6m. Elsewhere in Sichuan, power companies that should have been sold at public auction were disposed of by local officials without any disclosure.
China's power sector is undergoing a major reform that involves the separation of production from transmission and the establishment of legally separate companies operating on a commercial basis.