This article suggests that China's public and collective enterprises have contributed to its economic growth and socio-political stability. The efficiency of these enterprises has been improved not through the privatization of the state (transferring public ownership to private hands) but privatization within the state (decentralization, appropriation, and marketization). This article first provides statistics to juxtapose the growth of the Chinese economy to the continued expansion of public and collective enter-prises. I t then explains the causes and benefits of privatization within the Chinese state. A case study of privatization within the state in Shanghai City follows. The article concludes that China's economic reform has been a transformation of socialism, not a transition to capitalism, and that it is a less costly but more effective alternative to the privatization of the state approach. The former communist countries in Europe have painfully followed this latter approach and have suffered from its political, social, and economic consequences.