The State Economic and Trade Commission closed 4,855 filling stations in 2002, Xinhua reported. Reasons for closure were breaches of local laws including unauthorised use of land, low fuel standards and improper weights and measures. More than 20,000 filling stations were shut down in 2001.
The campaign against private operators is helping to reinforce the dominance of staterun oil firms, particularly China National Petroleum Corp (PetroChina) and China Petrochemical Group (Sinopec), Hong Kong Standard said. Out of 75,000 stations in China, Sinopec owns almost 28,000 and PetroChina 12,500, with many of the rest run by local government-owned operators.