Legal Protection for Minority Shareholders in China
Frontiers of Law in China, Vol. 8, No. 2, June 2013
26 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2014 Last revised: 3 Jul 2014
Date Written: June 5, 2013
In view of the increasingly severe exploitation of minority shareholders and the existence of double agency costs in China, it is necessary to provide strong protection for minority shareholders in China in order to build an investor-friendly system. By enabling minority shareholders to prevent misconducts of majority shareholders and managers, legal system has made significant progress in the past twenty years. Nevertheless, many defects still exist. The first enactment of the PRC Company Law was passed in 1992 with primary goal to serve reform of state-owned enterprises and therefore protection for minority shareholders was excluded by the scope of these reforms. The revision of the Company Law in 2005 was regarded as historical progress of Chinese company law in respect of providing protection for minority shareholders as many rights are conferred on shareholders and more measures were adopted to restrain the power of directors and controlling shareholders. However, this paper identifies that these various rights and protective mechanisms have certain deficiencies, which means that the interests of minority shareholders suppose to be guaranteed would be inevitably affected. Without improvements and clarifications of the existing legal protection in the future, interests of shareholders and company as a whole will be obstructed ultimately and development of capital markets will be significantly impeded.
Keywords: Minority Shareholders, China, Corporate Governance
JEL Classification: K22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation