2019-06-19 06:05:56

China’s massive state-owned national railway network operator has given itself a shiny new coat of paint.

China Railway Corp. (CRC) has renamed itself China State Railway Group Co. Ltd. (CR) and adopted a more market-oriented corporate structure, the company said in a statement on its website Tuesday.

The revamp brings the company into line with a national push for reform of China's state-owned enterprises. The new group will have a board of directors and a management team but no shareholder meetings. The Chinese government will remain the company’s sole shareholder, with the Ministry of Finance performing investor duties at the company on behalf of the State Council. The restructured group will inherit CRC’s significant existing debts, as well as its rights, qualifications and intellectual property.

Former CRC executives, 63-year-old Lu Dongfu and 50-year-old Yang Yudong, will continue to head the group as its president and general manager.

CRC, which has built the world’s largest high-speed rail network, has been criticized for accruing massive debts while doing so. These amounted to 5.27 trillion yuan ($764 billion) by the end of March 2019, according to CRC’s financial reports.

Caixin reported last year that CRC was planning to list the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway line — one of its more profitable lines — which was seen as an attempt to seek more funds for expensive infrastructure building.

This is an original article written by Isabelle Li of Caixin Global and has been republished with permission. The article can be found on Caixin’s website here.

(Header image: A maintenance and repair depot for high-speed trains in Beijing, China, Aug. 30, 2018. Thomas Peter/Reuters/VCG)