The interference in the market activities of a private company in Heilongjiang Province is an "isolated case," and should not be used to negate the progress being made on a friendlier business environment, said an official with China's top economic regulator.
The comments follow the accusation made by Mao Zhenhua, chairman of Sun Mountain ski resort, that the local management committee of the Northeast China province was making unpredictable administrative interferences in its operations, including asset seizures and frequent police investigation.
Mao said in a video that the management committee was not only a government institution but also a company that "uses power to edge out private companies."
Soon after the clip went viral, personnel charged with "serious disciplinary violations" were ordered by the provincial government to tender an apology and warned of serious punishment.
Zhou Jianping, a senior official from the National Development and Reform Commission, said: "The influence of an exceptional incident should not be overstated. If a dozen or hundred of such cases happen, there must be something wrong. But if there is just one isolated case, we should not negate the works (of local governments). Punish those involved in accordance with laws. Never hurt the innocent."
He made the remarks on Friday on the sidelines of a meeting called for revitalizing the economy of Northeast China. The region, consisting of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces, was the cradle for the country's heavy industry.
The Northeast China region, though lagging behind some provinces, has been making great progress in improving the commercial environment, Zhou said.
Liu Yanqing, president of the Harbin-based Tianqing Stem Cell Co, said the biopharmaceuticals company, since its establishment in 2010, has enjoyed a lot of preferential policies and other support from the local government.
"We faced several difficulties in the registration process, because at that time the related policies were not clear for such a new industry," Liu said. "The provincial health department organized an expert team to discuss the issue and finally we got the necessary approvals."