Licensed Market Entities in China Exceed 150 Million Nationwide, Triple over the Past Decade


The total number of officially registered market entities (市场主体) in China has tripled over the past decade-long period as reforms continue to drive growth of the private economy.

As of 1 November the total number of licensed market entities in China nationwide exceeded 150 million, for a net increase of 100 million over the past decade, according to the latest official data from the Chinese government.

The increase came in the wake of reforms to China’s business registration system, prior to which the licensing and approval period for a new business entity could take as long as three months.

In the first three quarters of 2021 China saw the creation of 21.348 million new market entities, including 6.728 million new enterprises.

State media has highlighted ongoing reforms to the business registration system, which includes a nationwide list administrative system, and further expansion of “licensing division” (证照分离) trials in China’s free trade pilot zones.

The “People’s Republic of China Market Entity Registration and Administrative Regulations” (中华人民共和国市场主体登记管理条例) will also come into effect on 1 March 2022, and are expected to further facilitate the establishment and licensing of new businesses in China.