Foreign Companies in China: An Introduction to the Real World

Prologue

The Western media inform us on a regular basis about the cheap products sent to world from China, and about the substandard and even dangerous content of some of them. Lead in paint, melamine in dog food, chemicals in drywall, glycol in toothpaste.

And we can be forgiven for thinking this is a story with only one side – a one-way trip, because yet again we are told only one side. But the story has another side that the same Western media deliberately ignore.

For a long time, Chinese consumers have had the impression that all products of foreign world-famous companies are “good stuff” and “of high quality”, and are expensive for a reason. This belief is proving itself to be startlingly unjustified.

Why is China Treated so Differently? 

Why do these firms dare to cheat Chinese people on such a grand scale? The root cause is in large part the amorality of all corporations, especially foreign multinationals, enhanced by the simple fact that they are foreign.

Sadly, another part is a deeply-rooted White supremacy and racism that the West exhibits to all non-Western nations. These foreigners believe the Chinese are still uninformed and lacking in discernment, and worship the West.

Also, the Chinese are not as critical as those in more individualistic countries like the US or the UK. In any case, these firms do things in China they would never do in any Western Country.

A popular photo on the Chinese Internet may explain a lot. The photo depicts two foreigners sitting by the roadside and littering melon-seed shells. The photographer said that when accused of littering, the two foreigners shrugged and said, “Come on, this is China!”

These skilled marketers read the minds of Chinese consumers and translate this public faith into profits. Cheating customers by exploiting their credulity has become a stratagem for several “localized” foreign companies, as these practices are often only applied in China rather than the West.

Many of these famous foreign companies should be sent packing, for their outrageous arrogance in cheating the Chinese people! If any of these firms were to engage in this behavior in their own nation, most executives and directors would be in jail, if not worse.

Another reason is that for various reasons the Chinese Government has always treated foreign companies much more gently than domestic firms.

Until recently, tax rates charged on foreign enterprises in China were less than 50% of those similarly demanded on local companies. Foreign firms are often given exemptions, or priority hearing on planning applications, and receive the biggest slice of the Central Government land subsidisation.

From all this, these foreign companies, and their foreign executives in China, have developed a false belief that their passport gives them the license to misbehave in China. Their sense of superiority and racism lead them to continue to treat China as a third-rate market.

Of course, this conduct has always been a matter of fact across the border in Hong Kong where, under the so-called “British rule of law”, these firms were seldom punished according to the Laws of Hong Kong whether for financial crimes or those resulting in physical harm.

In the end, the lack of government supervision and very strict enforcement, and an apparently insatiable greed for profit are behind the scandals, and this will not change until all these foreign firms – and their executives begin to pay dearly for their cheating and criminal activity.

China is Very Profitable for Many Foreign Companies

The real situation in China is that sales of foreign products have been growing at high rates even though many of the companies and brands have had severe quality and illegal practices exposed.

So many foreign firms have been caught and charged – and fined heavily – for transgressions, but their profits have been high enough to continue their illegal and fraudulent practices.

The practice would seem very short-sighted, but the fact is that many foreign companies produce more income and more profit in China than in their home countries, and many international firms would be bankrupt if not for the China market.

Chinese Consumers Must Adapt and Change

Companies will behave well only if violations result in serious financial loss. They will have no motivation to improve their attitudes unless the legal punishments become much more severe, and unless the Chinese public punish them with a total boycott.

Chinese consumers must kill their blind faith in foreign brands, and enhance their self-protection awareness. They should file complaints and “vote with their feet” if the product they bought has quality problems.

Chinese people must be enlightened and warned of fast food and unhealthy products imported from foreign countries. They must be educated that many foreign products do pose health problems.

It’s time for the Chinese people to be more discerning and discriminative in their use of foreign products just as they have been with some domestic producers.

Let’s Look at Some Facts

One for Me, and One for You 

Many foreign brands, including luxury marques, are made in China, and manufactured to strict quality controls. But even this has a dark side.

Most often, and with most foreign multinationals in China, all those goods passing the quality inspections are exported to the West, while those failing the tests are reserved for the China market – and at higher prices than those charged in their home countries for the same item.

Worm-infested Cadbury Chocolates . . .

. . . and Chlorine-flavored Coca-Cola, formaldehyde-flavored Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil, Pesticide-flavored Lipton teas, “pink slime” McDonalds hamburgers, Wal-Mart chicken-and-cockroach special, bacteria-flavored noodles and much more.

Here is a brief listing of some of the more common (and outrageous) transgressions of foreign multinationals in China:

-Repackaging and re-dating spoiled food

-Selling meat from diseased animals

-Selling food with serious bacteriological infections

-Changing expiration dates of perishable or date-limited foods and medicines

-Formaldehyde in baby oils and soaps

-Ignoring meat inspections

-No, or non-standard animal quarantine certificates

-High levels of pesticides, fungicides and chlorine in foods – at levels far higher than in North America or Europe

-Mislabeling and selling regular products as organic – at several times the regular price

-Carcinogens in adult soaps and shampoos

-Mislabeling of food products

-Underweight and overpriced products including vitamins and medicines

-Worm-infested Cadbury chocolates, with fillings of worms, shells and insect feces

-Coca-Cola containing high levels of chlorine

-Excessive presence of antibiotics and residue in foods

-Chemicals in food that far exceed Chinese regulatory limits

-Importing foods containing illegal brain and spinal cord waste

-Illegal importation of genetically produced animals for food

-Illegal and excessive levels of hormones in foods

-Childrens’ foods contaminated with heavy metals

-Unsafe and illegal plastic product containers

-failure to disclose reports of serious side effects and deaths from pharmaceuticals

-“Natural” mineral waters that are not mineral but simply plain water, but contain lead, total arsenic, nitrite, free chlorine, cyanide, coliform bacteria, mold and excessive levels of many other bacteria

Here is a list of another category of misbehavior:

-Unlicensed production

-Factory closings without compensation

-Factory closings and outsourcing due to wage increases

-Dishonest advertising

-Fraudulent promotions

-Price gouging

-Illegal importing of toxic and radioactive materials and waste

-Faulty automobiles without recall notices

-Replacement of defective products with reconditioned units

Punishment isn’t Enough

Many of these multi-national companies repeatedly fail inspection tests, but continue to produce and sell their toxic products in China.

Many foreign firms have been temporarily or permanently blacklisted due to their persistent flaunting of all China’s health laws.

Many, including large firms like Wal-Mart and Carrefour, have had all their stores closed by the police for weeks or months, but to no avail. They have paid huge fines, but still they persist.

Wal-Mart, as one of the more egregiously dishonest cases, was caught and fined more than 20 times over the space of a few years for consistently mislabeling products, selling meat from diseased animals, re-dating perishable foods and more. Finally the Chinese government forced a closure of all Wal-Mart stores for several weeks.

Nothing much changed.

However, the WSJ did publish an article titled “Bullying to Prosperity”, by a writer named John Bussey (most likely unemployed; almost certainly severely retarded).

In it, Mr. Bussey, with all the intelligence at his disposal, tells us since Wal-Mart has nearly 350 stores in China with revenue of $7.5 billion, it “could only beg forgiveness” and so “Wal-Mart dropped to its knees.”

I was touched. Reallly. Those mean commies, “bullying” poor little Wal-Mart to its knees. Enough to make you cry.

In some cases, the public have become so outraged they have picketed and boycotted stores and forced their permanent closure – to no avail.

Food producers both in the US and 12 facilities in Europe have had their licenses revoked due to tainted food products.

But most Americans would tell us this is China’s own fault for not having stricter laws.

Listing and Details of Some Famous Culprits

The next section of this series will provide details and media links to a number of the more notable transgressions.

The firms include Apple, Coca-Cola, P & G, J & J, Lipton, Wal-Mart, Carrefour, Sony, Honda, McDonalds, KFC, Citibank, Cadbury, Auchan, Puma, Nike, Roche, Evian, Amway, Lux, Dove, Colgate Total, Procter & Gamble’s Crest, Lipton, Unilever, IKEA, Mead Johnson, Hoffmann-La Roche, Disney, Zara, Folli Follie, Anna Sui, Hermes, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Paul & Shark, Trussardi, Hugo Boss, Samsonite, Ford, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Nike.

 

龙信明, www.bearcanada.com

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