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In China’s post-COVID economy, there may be hope for the struggling private sector made up of millions of small businesses. It needs to stay that way.

Unlike previous recoveries, fixed asset investment in the private sphere is rising, continuing an upward trend by climbing 9.1% in September compared to a year earlier, while growing at a slower pace in the public sector after declining in the previous month. Manufacturers of cars and other industrial equipment, for instance, are consuming more power and their profits are rising, too. That’s a turnaround from the lows private enterprises (more so than their state-owned peers) hit in February, when cash was tight and many were pushed to the brink.

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