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Les entreprises publiques chinoises à la croisée des chemins

HONG KONG – Depuis peu les critiques s'abattent sur la Chine pour le tour que prend sa réforme des entreprises publiques. Elles s'en prennent notamment au renforcement du rôle des comités du parti communiste dans leur gestion, ce qui semble un pas en arrière sur la voie des réformes en faveur du marché. Mais il faut y regarder de plus près. La Chine bascule vers une économie basée sur l'innovation, la connaissance et les services. Pour qu'elles y trouvent leur place, ses dirigeants doivent donc planifier soigneusement la réforme des entreprises publiques.

Auparavant, le rôle de ces entreprises était clair. Au cours des 30 dernières années, ce sont elles qui ont permis l'émergence de la Chine en tant qu'usine du monde, car elles étaient le fer de lance du boom de la construction des infrastructures. Elles ont acquis une position dominante dans ce processus, particulièrement dans les secteurs où se créent des monopoles naturels (par exemple les télécommunications et la production d'énergie) et dans les secteurs stratégiques (tels que l'acier, le charbon et les banques).

Or de nouvelles firmes technologiques comme Alibaba ou Tencent pénètrent les marchés de production multifaces, avec une logistique et une distribution multifaces et le recours à des plateformes unifiées qui bénéficient des économies d'échelle. En créant ces plateformes destinées aux consommateurs et aux petits producteurs - pour l'essentiel des infrastructures publiques - ces entreprises remettent directement en question le modèle des entreprises publiques et perturbent les marchés traditionnels monofaces dans lesquels les entreprises publiques ont un rôle essentiel.

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