Chapter 5: Legal suggestions for reforming monopoly industries
One media report recently caused widespread dissatisfaction with electricity utilities providers in China. The report says that the utility workers who check and write down numbers recorded by electricity meters earn 100,000 yuan RMB a year by checking only four meters a day. Severely unjust social income is a phenomenon that reflects state-owned monopoly industries such as finance, securities, insurance, and oil, as well as telecommunications, railways, and other sectors that are considered ‘natural monopolies’. People are frustrated with monopoly industries not only because of their disproportionate income, but also, most importantly, because these monopoly industries harm the consumer interest, such as the ‘oil shortage’ incident that occurred in Guangdong and lasted for two months in 2005. Therefore, following China’s marketization and continued economic reform, and especially due to considerations of establishing a harmonious socialist society, every sector of society is calling for China to expedite reform of its monopoly industries. Introducing the market competition mechanism is the fundamental way to break monopolies in the industries discussed above. That is, allowing other enterprises, including private businesses and foreign-backed companies, to enter the market. When there is competition in the market, enterprises must strive to lower prices, improve quality, and increase variety to satisfy consumer demands. In order to achieve these objectives, they will strive to improve management and carry out innovation.
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