Understanding the risks in China's PPP projects: Ranking of their probability and consequence

Yongjian Ke, Shouqing Wang, Ping Chuen Chan, Esther Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

146 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - Based on the Chinese government's increased public-private partnership (PPP) experience in the last decade, they have made a lot of efforts to improve the investment environment. This paper hence aims to conduct a more up-to-date evaluation of the potential risks in China's PPP projects. Design/methodology/approach - As part of a comprehensive research looking at implementing PPP, a two-round Delphi survey was conducted with experienced practitioners to identify the key risks that could be encountered in China's PPP projects. The probability of occurrence and severity of the consequence for the selected risks were derived from the surveys and used to calculate their relative risk significance index score. Findings - The results showed that the top ten risks identified according to their risk significance index score are: government's intervention; poor political decision making; financial risk; government's reliability; market demand change; corruption; subjective evaluation; interest rate change; immature juristic system; and inflation. Further analysis was conducted on these risks so that the possible consequence, the most impacted parties, and the preferred allocation are discussed. Recommendations on commercial principles or contract terms between the Chinese government and private consortium are also provided. Originality/value - These up-to-date findings concerning the probability and consequence of key risks would provide a valuable reference for private investors who are planning to invest in infrastructure projects in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-496
Number of pages16
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2011


  • China
  • Investments
  • Public private partnerships
  • Risk assessment
  • Risk identification
  • Risk management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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