Political and economic change impact category
Along with slower economic growth, political forces pressured a category considered vital to the nation's welfare. Policy emerging from the Third Plenary Session, at the end of 2013, directed the oil and gas category, dominated by SOEs (State Owned Enterprises), to become more market driven.
In addition, driving restrictions promulgated by local governments to reduce air pollution reduced demand for fuel. In an effort to ensure the supply of cleaner energy, PetroChina accelerated its shale gas operations in China. China signed long-term agreements with Russia to import massive amounts of gas through a network of pipelines spanning the two countries.
To develop potential outside its petrochemical core business, Sinopec partnered with Tencent. Together with the online portal, Sinopec will explore digital initiatives, such as ecommerce and mobile payment. Sinopec arranged with S.F. Express to use Sinopec service stations as package pick-up and drop-off locations.