SHANGHAI, July 28 -- CORPORATE China is becoming more entrepreneurial at a record rate - and that's official.
The level of entrepreneurship activity hit a new high in China last year as more Chinese chose to work in newly started companies, according to a report by the National Entrepreneurship Research Center under the Tsinghua University.
The center found that the level of entrepreneurship activity index reached 16.2 percent in 2006, which means 162 of every 1,000 Chinese were working in companies that were less than three years old.
This ranks China No. 6 among the 42 countries covered in the study.
The position is ahead of some of the most developed countries in the world, such as the United States, Japan and Australia. The index was 12.3 percent in 2002 when China ranked No. 9.
Four Asian countries are in the top 10 of the 42 countries this year covered in the study by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), a non-profit academic research consortium. The center's study comes under GEM's umbrella.
No. 1 on the list last year was Peru.
The source of the center's samples in the study came from its survey that covered more than 2,300 people aged between 18 and 64 in 25 cities. Expert interviews were conducted with individuals and public data were scrutinized.
"Although those who received only preliminary and junior-level education still account for the majority, the proportion of well-educated people involved in entrepreneurial activity has increased greatly to 20 percent," said Gao Jian, the center's vice director.
Nearly 20 percent among the Chinese involved in entrepreneurial activity are aged between 18 and 24, a major difference when compared to other countries.
The study found that half of the newly established companies have introduced new production techniques and 69 percent of them provided more than 20 jobs each.
Most of them are "opportunist" companies well in tune with their markets.