China Resources (simplified Chinese: 华润; traditional Chinese: 華潤; pinyin: Huá Rùn; Cantonese: Wa4 Yeun6) is a group of companies in a wide variety of businesses in Hong Kong and China. It is a state-owned enterprise supervised by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council. Some of its subsidiaries use the name in the form of the acronym CRC.
The company started as Liow & Company (Chinese: 聯和公司) in Hong Kong in 1938. Its original purpose was to raise funds and purchase supplies and equipment for the People's Liberation Army, then engaged in the Chinese Civil War. It was renamed as China Resources Corporation (Chinese: 華潤公司) in 1948. In 1983, the company was incorporated as China Resources (Holdings) Company Limited (Chinese: 華潤(集團)有限公司).
The company's main business focus is the export of mainland Chinese products (including energy) to Hong Kong. Its retail operations are organised under the China Resources Retail group, and include Chinese Arts & Crafts; it also runs a number of supermarkets in Hong Kong, originally under the CRC name, but now rebranded as Vanguard. It also owns Ng Fung Hong, the monopoly meat importer into Hong Kong.
According to Fortune Magazine, China Resources was ranked 115th on the 2015 Fortune 500 list, improved 28 places since 2014. It is the 21st largest state-owned enterprise in China.
In 2013 the firm and its chairman at the time, Song Lin, who also holds high government rank, was reported to be under investigation regarding the purchase of coal mines in Shanxi province for 9.9 billion renminbi, that did not produce any coal for several years after the acquisition. There are substantial reserves of coal in the mines, but exploiting them requires substantial investments. Meanwhile, coal from newly opened strip mines in Mongolia had depressed the market. The deal raised questions about the leverage that large, state-owned firms had to borrow money at low interest for projects of dubious profitability and about where the money went and why.
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