BEIJING, April 20 (Xinhua) -- China tops the world in the number of business entities thanks to years of market access reform.
There were 100.24 million business entities across the country in March, including enterprises and individually-owned businesses, according to the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR). The figure makes China the largest nation of entrepreneurs in the world.
Individually-owned businesses make up nearly 70 percent of the number.
China had less than 500,000 business entities 40 years ago when it initiated reform and opening up.
The number boomed during the past five years as the government stepped up effort to loosen restrictions on business registration. Business entities jumped 70 percent from 2012 to 2017. Fifty thousand new entities are registered each day.
"One million used to be unimaginable," He Xin, president of China Society of Market Supervision, said, attributing the growth to government efforts to cut red tape.
China has greatly relaxed market access to allow people to set up their own businesses, with 87 percent of approval items either reduced or canceled.
During the past five year, the high-tech industry witnessed rapid growth, and new service companies accounted for nearly 80 percent of registrations. Private businesses became the biggest employer, creating 40 percent of new urban jobs.
The World Bank data showed China improving by 18 places in ease of doing business in the past five years, and by 65 places in ease of setting up businesses.