BEIJING, April 15 (Xinhua) -- The private sector has played a significant part in the long-term rapid development of the Chinese economy, the statistics authority has said.
The number of private industrial businesses with annual turnover over 20 million yuan (3.18 million U.S. dollars) stood at 222,000 in 2017, up 17.5 percent from five years ago and accounting for 57.7 percent of the total, according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The private sector made up 22.3 percent of total industrial assets by the end of 2017, up by 2.4 percentage points from 2012. Their main business incomes came in at 34.4 percent of the total, up by 3.7 percentage points from five years ago.
"The robust growth of private businesses has not only injected new vitality into the economy but played a key part in stabilizing employment," the NBS said. More than 32 million people worked in the private sector last year, accounting for 36.9 percent of the total, up from 32.6 percent in 2012.
The government has been unwavering in its support of the private sector since its reform and opening up 40 years ago, and has promised more efforts to improve the business environment, maintain stable policy expectations, and protect their rights and interests.
By the end of 2017, there were 2.86 million private businesses across the country.
Diverse market entities thrive in China. During the past five years, the country's average annual industrial output was up 7.4 percent, with state-owned enterprises (SOEs) up 4.3 percent, private businesses up 8.9 percent and foreign-funded firms up 5.9 percent.
Chinese SOEs gathered steam in strategic industries such as crude and coal but retreated in competitive sectors including food, textiles and medicine.
Combined assets of industrial SOEs saw an annual average growth rate of 6.4 percent from five years ago, reaching 42.5 trillion yuan at the end of 2017, accounting for 37.9 percent of the total, down from 40.6 percent in 2012.
The NBS data also showed that there were nearly 150,000 large foreign-funded companies by the end of 2017, with 22.5 trillion yuan of total assets and more than 20 million employees.