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China SOEs told to stop social welfare services

Move is part of plan to cut financial burden on heavily indebted state-owned firms

Pingmei Shenma runs hospitals and schools, and provides pensions, subsidised housing for workers, water and power. It even runs a plush retirement home. The fate of these facilities is now unclear.

Pingdingshan, China

CHINA has ordered state firms to smash the decades-old system of providing cradle-to-grave welfare support, known as the country's "iron rice bowl".

But the order, part of a plan to reduce financial pressure on bloated and heavily indebted state-owned...

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