政府持股与中国公司治理 (State Shareholding and Corporate Governance in China)

This is a slightly modified Chinese translation of Donald Clarke, "Corporate Governance in China: An Overview," China Economic Review, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 494-507, 2003, available at

21 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2014

See all articles by Donald C. Clarke

Donald C. Clarke

George Washington University Law School

Date Written: October 18, 2003


Chinese Abstract: 公司治理这一概念引入中国的时机似乎业已成熟。中国分析家对公司治理的抽象定义一般是指在商业组织中,调整所有具有利益关系的当事人相互之间关系的整个体系,而且通常认为股东是其中具有特殊重要性的群体。但是实际上,中国对公司治理的论述几乎仅局限于代理问题,而且范围限定在两种公司内:国有企业(SOE),特别是改制成为符合公司法要求的法人形式后的国有企业,以及上市公司,上市公司必须是符合公司法规定的股份有限公司(CLS)。本文将探讨上述狭窄范围内的中国公司治理,并且试图就关于公司治理的论述、法律、机构和制度(此后略称“公司治理法律及制度”或CGLI)中存在的令人困惑的一些特性作出解释。

中国 CGLI 的一个基本困境,根源于在一些经济领域,国家要对企业保有完全或控制性所有权的政策。国家希望其所有的企业能够有效运行,但是企业的有效运行并不是仅为财富的最大化服务的。国家对企业的控制,还基于对其他因素的考虑,如要服务于维持城市就业水平、保证对敏感行业的控制及实现政治性就业安排等目的。

由此产生了若干问题。首先,这些目标当中的许多很难对其进行衡量,即使能够衡 量,也很难决定各目标之间的最佳平衡。这为监督带来了困难。其次,国家继续对企业发挥影响的政策,导致国家作为控股股东,与其他股东之间产生了利益冲突。国家通过对企业的控制,实现价值最大化之外的目的,会造成国家剥削小股东的现象,因为小股东与国家股东不同,只有通过价值最大化才能从其投资中受益。

本文的主题是,国家通过实施不同的新规则——“现代企业制度”下的组织制度,希 望推动SOE 更有效地运行。但是决策者们很快发现,对国家所有权的需要的考虑迫使他们必须对这些规则作出修改、调整。而且,对国有企业特殊情况的考虑的结果使整个《公司法》受影响,导致了不是国有企业需要遵守为私营企业设置的规则(这是初衷所在),而是潜在的私营企业被迫要遵守仅适用于由国家大量投资的经济的规则,它们因而遭受挫折。

English Abstract: Corporate governance (gongsi zhili) is a concept whose time seems definitely to have come in China. Chinese definitions of corporate governance in the abstract tend to cover the system regulating relationships among all parties with interests in a business organization, usually spelling out shareholders as a particularly important group. But Chinese corporate governance discourse in practice focuses almost exclusively on agency problems, and within only two types of firms: state-owned enterprises (SOEs), particularly after their transformation into one of the corporate forms provided for under the Company Law, and listed companies, which must be companies limited by shares (CLS) under the Company Law. This article discusses Chinese corporate governance in this narrow sense, and attempts to explain some perplexing features of its discourse, laws, and institutions (abbreviated hereinafter as "corporate governance laws and institutions" or CGLI).

A fundamental dilemma of Chinese CGLI stems from the state policy of maintaining a full or controlling ownership interest in enterprises in several sectors. The state wants the enterprises it owns to be run efficiently, but not solely for the purpose of wealth maximization. A necessary element of state control of an enterprise is the use of that control for purposes such as the maintenance of urban employment levels, direct control over sensitive industries, or politically-motivated job placement.

This in turn creates several problems. First, many of these goals are not easily measured and there is no obvious way of balancing them one against the other. This creates monitoring difficulties. Second, the policy of continued state involvement sets up a conflict of interest between the state as controlling shareholder and other shareholders. In using its control for purposes other than value maximization, the state exploits minority shareholders who have no other way to benefit from their investment.

The major theme of this article is that the state wants to make SOEs operate more efficiently by subjecting them to a new and different set of rules - the rules of organization under the "modern enterprise system". Policymakers then find, however, that they must change and adjust the rules to take account of continuing state ownership. Moreover, the need to provide for the special circumstances of state-sector enterprises ends up hijacking the entire Company Law, so that instead of state-sector enterprises being made more efficient by being forced to follow the rules for private-sector enterprises (the original ambition), potential private-sector enterprises are hamstrung by having to follow rules that make sense only in a heavily state-invested economy.

Note: Downloadable document is in Chinese.

Keywords: corporate governance, China, People's Republic of China, economic reform, state-owned enterprises, corporatization

JEL Classification: K22, P20, P31

Suggested Citation

Clarke, Donald C., 政府持股与中国公司治理 (State Shareholding and Corporate Governance in China) (October 18, 2003). This is a slightly modified Chinese translation of Donald Clarke, "Corporate Governance in China: An Overview," China Economic Review, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 494-507, 2003, available at Available at SSRN: or

Donald C. Clarke (Contact Author)

George Washington University Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-2830 (Phone)
202-318-4479 (Fax)


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