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: The establishment of the Shanghai Stock Exchange in December 1990 was a landmark in China's institutional transformation. With this in mind, the authors consider the factors relating to institutional change - such as changes in the financial system, the scale and structure of stock market, operational efficiency and the regulatory system of the stock market. During the course of its development the Chinese stock market has experienced speculation, dramatic fluctuations and violations of market regulations of frequent and diverse natures. There is therefore, urgent need for the discussion contained within this volume of best procedure policies for the establishment of a properly ordered and regulated market. The authors assess the operational performance of listed companies, and changes in the external environment such as the impact of China's accession to the WTO on the stock market. The authors find that WTO accession will have a more serious impact on the more heavily protected agricultural sector and on capital-intensive industries such as automobile, instruments, cotton and wheat to name a few. They argue that the fundamental reason for the inefficiency of China's stock market is the weakness of the competitive mechanism leading to imperfect competition and rent-seeking activity.