From the Chinese Press

Updated: 2013-11-13 08:20

(China Daily)

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Football success offers lessons

Guangzhou Evergrande made history by winning the Asian Football Confederation Champions League title for China, which is the first time a Chinese club has won the competition since China introduced professional soccer 20 years ago. Guangzhou Evergrande's insistence on market-oriented operation and professional management experience provided a useful reference for institutional reform and operating management of the industry, says an article in the Economic Daily. Excerpts:

As an enterprise established only three years ago, Guangzhou Evergrande club has initiated a series of innovations in football professionalism and marketization, which are different from the traditional operations of a Chinese football club, and its experience can offer lessons for managers in other industries and even for market reforms.

First, the reform direction toward market-oriented operation and professional management should be maintained. Since China embarked on the development path of professional football in 1994, there have been a number of problems, such as match-fixing, bad management of clubs and the poor performance of the national team.

The success of Guangzhou Evergrande demonstrates that it is not the malfunction of professionalism and marketization, but insufficient reform that gave rise to these problems. Therefore, we must keep deepening reform to solve problems that arise during the process of reform.

Second, within the framework of a market economy, the functions of various subjects must be clearly defined. An important management experience of Evergrande is that the investor, the management and coaching team have a clear division of work.

Third, awards and punishments should be rigorously carried out with strict institutional constraints. Several key players of Evergrande have been subjected to heavy penalties for violating team regulations so as to ensure a high degree of integrity and sense of discipline. Only by constantly improving and perfecting the various incentive and punishment mechanisms and ensure that rules and laws are strictly enforced, can the market mechanism play its due role.

To ensure a clear division of labor among "responsibility, rights and interests" is an essential requirement for a market economy. China's ongoing transformation of government functions is to further straighten out relations between government and market and between society and enterprises.

Better online shopping

The Nov 11 online shopping spree has become China's most popular annual commercial event and has created an e-commerce miracle, but much remains to be done to protect consumer rights, says an article in Guangzhou Daily. Excerpts:

According to statistics, the Nov 11 sales on Taobao reached 19.1 billion yuan ($3.1 billion) in 2012, and they top 30 billion this year. E-commerce platforms have contributed a lot to the government's efforts to expand domestic demand and improve economic efficiency. But behind the glossy report card, there are still some prominent problems facing the online shopping spree on Nov 11, such as fraud, fake and shoddy goods, delayed deliveries, and so on. There were as many as 93,600 consumer complaints against e-commerce service platform last year in China. So to keep e-commerce developing in an orderly way, the authorities have a lot to do.

Preferential policies should be designed for e-commerce development. Currently, expanding domestic demand is the key for sound economic prospects, to make domestic demand a steady driving force of China's economic growth the expansion of the e-commerce market is necessary. Millions of online storekeepers rely on meager profits to survive and they need preferential fiscal and tax policies.

More complementary services should be put in place. Besides offering discounts, consumer satisfaction is essential if the online store is to attract regular customers. To solve the problem of delayed deliveries, the structural and institutional obstacles of the logistics industry should be eliminated and delivery costs reduced.

Online stores should adhere to honest management, sell genuine goods at a fair price to attract loyal customers and supervision departments and consumer watchdogs should keep pace in safeguarding consumers' legal rights so as to create a sound and comfortable online shopping environment.

(China Daily 11/13/2013 page9)