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Self-employed ranks get big boost from latest Cabinet regulation

The State Council, China's Cabinet, rolled out a major regulation on Oct 25 to promote the country's 111 million self-employed businesses, which industry experts said will greatly boost confidence and resilience among private smaller businesses over the long term.

According to the regulation that will take effect on Oct 25, greater supportive policies, including on taxation, finance, employment, digital development and intellectual property protection, will be provided to self-employed households.

The regulation also emphasizes the role of self-employed households in driving the market and economy, and stressed that China will unswervingly encourage, support and guide the development of such businesses.

"The new regulation has more detailed and targeted supportive policies, which is of significance in promoting the development of self-employed households," said Li Zhiqi, vice-chairman of the Beijing Federation of Industry and Commerce.

For instance, the regulation encourages financial institutions to offer financial products and services targeting self-employed households, as well as larger scale coverage of loans, which will help relieve financing difficulties among these individual households, Li said.

"Such efforts will offer timely support, as self-employed households, which rely on their own means to survive and develop in niche markets, are relatively weak in resisting external risks, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic," he added.

The latest data from the State Administration for Market Regulation showed that more than 111 million self-employed households were registered nationwide as of the end of September, accounting for two-thirds of the country's total number of market players. They also were responsible for about 300 million jobs.

A survey provided by the administration to China Daily showed that since the beginning of this year, nearly 80 percent of individual households brought in an average monthly operating income of less than 10,000 yuan ($1,389), which can only support basic living standards.

Wang Peng, a researcher at the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, said: "To some extent, China's economy will see good momentum if market entities, especially smaller businesses, remain sound. Many of them are increasingly being recognized for their roles in stabilizing employment, driving innovation and facilitating livelihoods."

Over the past few years, the government has launched a package of policies to support the development of self-employed households. The SAMR rolled out two specialized platforms to improve services for such groups.

One of the platforms integrates portals related to must-have administrative business procedures from different places around China, where smaller businesses can apply for company registrations, variation and removal on the integrated platform with far greater ease.



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