The securities regulator on Saturday vowed to severely punish listed firms that violate market rules or fail to pay dividends when due.
Listed firms that engage in "illicit practices" on the stock market should "pay a heavy price," Liu Shiyu, head of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), told a meeting of the China Association for Public Companies.
He criticized some companies, without naming them, for forging financial information, engaging in fraudulent restructuring, and cashing out after driving stock prices high at the cost of retail investors' interests.
He also urged firms to pay dividends to their investors, saying authorities will "act hard" against those who fail to do so without justified reasons.
He reiterated that the CSRC remained committed to protecting the rights and interests of retail investors, who dominate China's stock market.
China currently has over 3,100 listed companies, with a combined market value exceeding 50 trillion yuan (7.25 trillion U.S. dollars).
Listed firms should play an active role in the implementation of national strategies and avoid blind expansion into non-core business, Liu told the meeting.
He stressed good corporate governance and full information disclosure, saying credit records should be built for company directors and management.