BEIJING, July 29 (Xinhua) -- China's government Wednesday ordered state-owned performing arts groups to privatize and
orient themselves to the market rather than turning out shows tailored to the
tastes of officials.
The Ministry of Culture (MOC) issued a notice on its website Wednesday
requiring provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, except Tibet and
Xinjiang, to complete at least one privatization by the end of 2009.
In 2010 and beyond, most performance troupes should become private or
public companies, according to the notice.
Since 2003, trials in privatization had been completed in some state-owned performing groups and they gained both economic and social benefits, the notice said. It did not name the pilot groups.
The MOC promised the government would continue to fund the privatized
groups to the same extent until they were self-sufficient, but it also suggested
that the groups should search for new funding channels by themselves, such as
subsidies and loans.
Different-level state-owned performance groups in the same city that had redundant functions should speed up consolidation to avoid unnecessary investments, the notice said.
The MOC encouraged the performing groups to come out with their own "bold
and flexible" solutions to the re-employment of staff.
It suggested that the authorities that operated the troupes allow laid off employees to hold shares in the privatized companies, and arrange work in museums, libraries and community centers.