Do you have any idea what China was like before Mao took over? Believe me, it was way, way, way worse that it was under Mao.
Really? Mao set a world record by doubling life expectancy in in the shortest period of time. Life expectancy was doubled from 32 in 1949 to 65 in 1980. A world record! Think how many lives Mao saved! Sure he killed some people, but he saved so many other lives. This is why so many people who lived under Mao revere him to this very day, though it is admitted that he made mistakes.
Industrial production grew at about 10% per year under Mao. Agricultural production exploded under Mao. Medical care was dramatically expanded to where it served the whole population. There were vast expansions in education and after Mao, every Chinese could go to school. There was a massive expansion in housing under Mao and few Chinese lived in slums anymore. Life in countryside improved dramatically under Mao.
The state still plays a huge role in the economy and to some extent the economic progress of the nation is indeed planned or guided by the state. But the same is done in Japan and South Korea.
You realize that all land in China is owned by the state?
Do you have any idea how much money the Chinese state spends at various levels on public projects of all kinds?
Do you realize that the #2 maker of TV’s in the world is a Chinese state firm?
You realize that all Chinese publically owned firms are officially owned by their workers. This was something that Mao put in and the “reformers” have not been able to get rid of it. The more money the firm makes, the larger the workers’ paycheks are.
You realize that 45% of the economy is still publicly owned, right? The difference is now much of that is owned by municipalities and those cities actually compete against each other. Also state firms are run to make a profit, but the profit goes to the state where it is plowed right back to the people in all sorts of ways.
Even the market is under pretty serious control of the state. Private firms need to go along with the project or risk being shut down and confiscated. Much of the massive Chinese development in China is done by state firms. Many Chinese state firms now compete globally against capitalist enterprises, so it’s sink or swim. Many pro-capitalist rightwingers in the US have been complaining about having to compete with Chinese state firms because they are shored up by the Chinese state so therefore this is somehow unfair competition.