China aims to cut the number of central government-owned enterprises by about half, the Wall Street Journal reported. Wang Zhigang, chief of the corporation-research department of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, said the number of companies would be reduced from 167 currently to between 80 and 100. Mergers of less-competitive enterprises with more-successful ones would take care of the majority of consolidation, but some companies could list their shares or sell stakes to foreign or private Chinese investors. China's state sector has shrunk rapidly in recent years but critics allege that many state-run companies have been sold too cheaply, and that some foreign investors have bought them only to destroy them and their domestic brands. Wang said this was a concern, but China's leadership remained committed to the country's 27-year-old "reform and opening up" policy. Foreign investors will continue to have a role to play, but Beijing is also considering drafting rules on how the government should evaluate major potential deals, including possibly setting up an agency to handle the task, he said.