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Title: Corporate governance and legal reform in post-1993 China
Author: Xi, Chao
ISNI:       0000 0004 2674 5131
Awarding Body: School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2007
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Over the last decade or so, China's market-oriented economic reforms have brought corporate governance issues to the forefront. Though many larger state-owned enterprises have been transformed into listed companies, the manner in which they are governed has largely remained unchanged. The "insider control" problem and the expropriation of minority public shareholders by the state-owned majority shareholders have contributed to the poor performance of many listed companies in China. In order to address these issues, a legal framework for corporate governance has emerged and evolved for the governance of Chinese listed companies. This thesis examines the nature and significance of the legal framework for corporate governance that has emerged in post-1993 China, and in particular assesses the effectiveness of the reforms that have been put in place for addressing the governance issues facing Chinese listed companies. The thesis has two principal conclusions. First, in an attempt to accommodate the corporate governance reforms, a large body of Western style corporate and securities laws has been introduced in China, in the absence of the requisite complementary institutions, both formal and informal. The functioning of the imported legal rules and institutions has been constrained by the preexisting institutional infrastructure and the constantly changing political economy environment. As a result, many newly adopted corporate governance rules have yet to effectively address the fundamental agency problem facing Chinese listed companies, that is, the expropriation of minority shareholders by the controlling shareholders. The second finding is more general. In addition to globalization and efficiency, there are other important factors - including local interest group politics, ideology and culture - that shape the evolution of a nation's corporate governance system. These factors differ so significantly between countries that a convergence of different national systems toward a single direction is unlikely to happen in the near future. This research fills in a serious gap in empirical legal analysis of the Chinese corporate governance reforms. It not only furthers our understanding of the nature of Chinese corporate law and governance, but also contributes to the ongoing debates on the convergence of national corporate governance systems and on legal transplants.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available