Transitioning from socialism to capitalism is associated with several challenges. Firstly, every country, whether a socialist or capitalist state has varying degrees of government and private sector involvement in the economy. For instance, while China is a socialist state, the private sector mostly controls the decision making process. Moving from the socialist to a capitalist system would therefore need serious consideration of the current government and private sector involvement in the economy so as not to lead to an imbalance and instability.
Another challenge that economies that are transitioning from socialism to capitalism could face is income inequality as well as unemployment. A socialist state, particularly one that is centrally planned promotes income equality as the government maintains most resources. In addition, such an economy has many jobs to offer its citizens hence promising equality. Privatizing such an economy would lead to income inequality as the resources will move to the private sector and the people will work harder to secure jobs.
Transitioning from a socialist economy to privatization could also be problematic in some economies. For instance, the lack of a stock exchange market as well as a functional banking system in some of the socialist states in Eastern Europe and China before 1990 was an impediment to privatization. This is because privatization requires firms to be sold through a public offering, which usually involves the stock market. Without such systems, it could be difficult for a socialist state to transition to a capitalist economy. Lack of a functional banking system in a fully socialist state could also hinder the private sector, individuals and businesses from accessing huge funds and savings that are necessary for the privatization process.