THE number of business entities in Shenzhen exceeded 4 million by the end of March, a record high under ever-improving business climate and policy-based support to stimulate the vitality of market entities.

There had been 4.0051 million business entities in the city as of the end of March, topping the country and up 4.61% year on year, the city’s market supervision authority said.

Among them, 62.26%, or 2.4937 million, were enterprises, up 2.74% year on year. The number of individually owned businesses stood at 1.5114 million, accounting for 37.74% of the total and up 7.86% year on year.

Despite the pandemic, the number of business entities bucked the trend to post growth in 2022, with 522,000 new businesses registered in the year, the most in the country.

In the first quarter of this year, the newly registered business entities hit 105,600, up 19.95% year on year. Among them, 51,800 were individually owned businesses, up 45.1% year on year. New registrations of foreign-funded businesses reached 972, rising by 11.21% year on year.

The city continued to top the country in terms of entrepreneurship density for the eighth straight year, having one entrepreneur in every five citizens.

Behind the continuous growth of market entities are the city’s years of unremitting efforts to create a better policy, financial, legal, and integrity-based environment for enterprises, and a series of preferential policies and measures it has taken to stimulate market vitality. The increase in the number of registered companies has fully demonstrated the vigor and great resilience of the local economy and laid a solid foundation for the city’s high-quality development.

Shenzhen had 1.3 million business entities in 2013 when the city spearheaded a large reform initiative aimed at decreasing the time and cost of starting a new business to facilitate innovation and start-ups.

The city has since made major headway in carrying forward reforms of the administrative approval system, greatly reduced the number of items requiring administrative approval, and eliminated administrative permits, relieving the burden on market entities.

In 2013, it took more than a month to register a business, which now has been shortened to only several minutes and even dozens of seconds.

The city has also unveiled a slew of measures to reduce COVID-hit enterprises’ financial burdens, including policies on tax concessions and fee cuts to relieve market players’ financial pressures and increase businesses’ cash flow. Financial institutions are encouraged to increase loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Shenzhen has been a national leader in improving its business climate, ranking first among 51 Chinese cities in a report, titled the Chinese Cities of Opportunity 2023, released by the China Development Research Foundation and accounting firm PwC last month.

The birth of new enterprises is often seen as one of the key markers of job creation. By the end of 2022, micro and small-sized enterprises in the city had an average of 7.7 employees, while self-employed businesses had an average of 2.8, as per official data.


(Source | Shenzhen Daily)