Hong Kong economist polemics on SOE asset transfer

From Jonathan Lassen <jlassen@clarku.edu>
Date Mon, 30 Aug 2004 14:59:16 -0400 (EDT)

The English language media hasn't reported anything on what's turned into a
fairly big media spat over SOE asset transfer. The Hong Kong economist Lang
Xianping (&#37070;&#21688;&#24179; - don't know what romanization he uses, couldn't find it) has
raised the ire of the neoliberals by calling into question the actions of some of
the more successful privatizing enterprises, like TCL, Haier., etc. He also makes
the bold claim that both private and state-owned companies are BOTH engaged in
large-scale asset stripping of state resources, and has called for an overhaul of
the 'guotui, minjin' strategy. 

This touches on some raw nerves, of course, and Lang's mainstream economics
background (US educated, fully supports markets, can't be called 'left' by any
stretch of the imagination) has left the neoliberals very 'beidong'. There has
been a charges hurled at Lang (and apparently bodily threats), but it's been hard
for the neo-liberals to find any hooks on him. The economists under the 'new
left' umbrella (Yang Fan, Han Deqiang, Zuo Dapei) have jumped up in defense of
Lang, and I imagine their own situation gets a huge boost from what Lang is saying.

Lang has a website at Sohu:

I found the history of how TCL went from being a completely state-owned company
in 1997 to 25% management owned (the chairman himself is now worth US 100+
million), and 18% foreign owned by 2004 very interesting: