Nearly 200 million Chinese, out of a 1.3 billion total population, are working in private business enterprises, said a report issued by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce in Beijing Friday.
More than 110 million people had registered to work for private companies or be self-employed by September 2007, the report said.
"But the number is likely to reach 200 million since some small businesses and self-employed people did not register at the authorities," it said.
China had registered about 5.39 million private companies by September last year, 8.2 percent more than at the end of 2006, the report said.
They have contributed to 60 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).
Private business experienced a booming development in the past three decades. The country used to incorporate private business into state-owned enterprises before it adopted economic reform in 1978.
Big private industrial companies performed well last year. They reported 400-billion-yuan (54.79-billion-U.S. dollar) profits in the first 11 months of last year, a year-on-year increase of 50.9 percent, the report said.
A company, whose annual operation revenue is 5 million yuan (685,000 dollars) or more, is considered a big one, according to the report.
Private companies also invested more last year. In the first 11months of 2007, their fixed assets investment totaled 5.67 trillion yuan, up 36 percent over the same period in 2006. It accounted for 56.4 percent of the total fixed assets investment in urban areas.
(Xinhua News Agency February 8, 2008)