Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

China Fact- Corruption in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on October 13, 2011


Corruption in China is like the Medussa, it has many ugly heads. The heads are many and include things like cash in offshore accoutns, properties, kids of villagers, land, foreign property, boats, planes etc. One of the least known of these gifts is the ‘gift’ or bribing with a luxury gifts. Allegedly 50% of all luxury gifts given in China are given as bribes. WTF?

yeah, they are so corrupt that half of all gifts given here supposedly go to dirty officials (Mao had a good idea in ’66). But wtf does that mean? I mean are we talking a few diamond cufflinks or what?

The answer is a little more complex. For instance the luxury goods market for China in 2009 was about $7.8 billion. So at a rate of 50%, this means that about $3.9 billion worth of luxury gifts were given as a bribe.

But wtf is $3.9 billion, is it a lot?

In order to understand just this one facet of Chinese bribery, consider this. Del Monte foods corporation had revenues of about $3.8 billion for the entire year in 2010. What this means is that for just this one facet of chinese corruption, the governmental officials received Herme’s scarves, Rolex’s and such to an amount equal to ALL of the sales of Del Monte for the ENTIRE YEAR…yikes! And considering Del Monte was the 521st biggest US company in terms of sales, that figure is huge indeed.

And to make things worse, China is expected to increase their luxury goods purchases and by 2015, if current trends hold, corrupt officials will be in possession of bribes totaling as much as the revenue of Toys R Us, the 171st largest company in the entire US.

Keep this in mind when looking at that nice young Chinese man with family member who are ‘government employees’ or their children….

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