BEIJING — China's leaders pledged Friday to open state-dominated industries wider to private competition and ease limits on foreign investment in e-commerce and other businesses in a sweeping reform plan aimed at rejuvenating a slowing economy.
The changes promised in a report issued following a closely watched Communist Party conference could be China's most significant economic overhaul in at least two decades. State media have compared the effort to market-style reforms in 1978 that launched China's economic boom.
Chinese leaders are trying to replace a growth model based on exports and investment that has run out of steam after delivering three decades of rapid growth. Reform advocates say economic growth rates will plunge, undermining the ruling party's claim to power, if industries from energy to telecoms to banking that are controlled by state companies are not opened to competition.