context: The consolidation of CNNC and CNEC—still awaiting official confirmation—follows the Shenhua–Guodian mega-merger and the Huaneng–SPIC merger rumour. More M&As are expected as the central government seeks to trim state-owned firms and create internationally competitive giants.

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and China Nuclear Engineering and Construction Corporation (CNEC) are set for a merger. State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) and China General Nuclear Power Group (CGNPC) will face stiffer competition as a result, predicts Jiemian.

CNNC is the second largest nuclear power plant developer and dominates most nuclear sectors including exports, investment, technology design and uranium supply. CNEC’s core business is construction of nuclear power projects. Both companies were spun off from China Nuclear Industry Corporation in 1999 in the previous restructuring of defense enterprises. The merger of the two has been highly expected, says an industry insider, as their businesses complement each other and the consolidation will enhance the competitiveness of CNNC on the international stage.

SPIC, CNNC and CGNPC have become the only three enterprises licensed to operate and control nuclear power plants, after SPIC was created through the merger of China Power Investment Corporation and State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation in the first round of nuclear sector restructuring in 2015.