Thu, March 15, 2012
Business > Industries

China's rich reluctant to take over family firms: report

2012-03-15 11:49:44 GMT2012-03-15 19:49:44(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Many Chinese are reluctant to take over their family's firms when their parents retire, according to a news report carried by people.com.cn on Wednesday.

Citing a survey over 182 Chinese of family firms by a Shanghai Jiao Tong University team, the report said up to 82 percent of surveyed heirs said they were reluctant to take over the family business.

The average age of the surveyed family entrepreneurs was 52 and succession of the business has become an increasingly visible concern, said the survey.

China's family businesses, mostly started since China initiated the reform and opening up drive around 30 years ago, will enter a core period of power-shifting from founders to their children in the upcoming 10 years.

However, only 18 percent of the young members have confirmed their willingness to take over the reins of their parents while the rest showed reluctance in doing so, according to the report.

Professor Yu Mingyang, leader of the survey team, said many of the young family members, who were born in 1970s or 1980s and extensively influenced by the Internet, showed interest in electronic commerce and IT related business generally, other than the business started by their parents.

Some of them even reported that they wanted to pursue a career as officials, a dream shared by many university graduates, the report said, quoting the survey.

Greater attention should be directed to the succession problems facing the family firms in order to smooth the process of passing them through the generations, the report said.

According to a report presented late last year by the research organs of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, around 85.4 percent of China's private enterprises belong to family businesses, in which individuals or families own a controlling stake of more than 50 percent.

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