Tuesday, July 19, 2011

One more about the Guo Mei Mei case

Just checking if there have been any new news about that case - but didn't find anything newer that 15th of July. I found this one, here with a more straight tenor about the "overall" existing corruption in China. Believe me corruption is everywhere: In micro (means few RMB) to medium (a few hundreds to a few thousands) to SUPERBIG (millions). When sometimes reading that a director of a local bank in a damned remote little town has taken 100 of millions of RMB out from the bank to have a "good life" or whatever, there is always one question unanswered: How can somebody steal so much money & nobody find this out immediately ? Maybe because they are all bribed ?
Red Cross Scandal – Money for Your Morals
I give you 500 RMB, and I don’t have to pay the 2,000 RMB fine.
I give you 5,000 RMB, and you approve the sanitation inspection of my restaurant.
I give you 10,000 RMB, and you accept my son in your university.
I give you Maseratis, Lamborghinis, luxury brands with company funds and you become my mistress.

The reach of corruption in China is so systemic it’s an accepted reality in climbing the social ladder, and has led people to adopt a naturally suspicious outlook in the face of another’s success and fame. Large government organizations are not trusted either, with the People’s Bank of China revealing in a report last month that over 800 billion RMB ($123.7 billion) had been smuggled out the country since the 1990s by government officials.

Frauds and bribes are social occurrences present in every society. Occasionally, one will surface in the news and cause a firestorm that will long be remembered. In China, there isn’t the same sense of surprise or outrage, as cases of mismanaged funds, corrupted officials and venal affairs are so prevalent they can be seen splashing the headlines on a regular basis. Same story, different day.

Last week, however, one scandal, of singular venality, truly did ignite the Chinese people’s fury. A 20-year-old woman, Guo Meimei, became the source of attention on Sina Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, as she flaunted her lavish lifestyle in photos; parading in front of a white Maserati, an orange Lamborghini, a closet collection of her Hermès bags and sporting various other luxury brands.

What made Guo Meimei stand out from the rest of the nouveaux riches, however, was her boastful claim to be working at the Red Cross Society of China – the country’s largest charity organisation – under the title of ‘commercial general manager’.

In the wake of the scandal coming to light, both Guo Meimei and the Red Cross firmly denied having any ties with one another, and it was reported in this week’s news that she was in fact the girlfriend of an old businessman working for China Red Cross Bo’ai Asset Management Ltd. Corp., a shadowy for-profit subgroup, who was responsible for organising charity drives. The man has since left the company.

While this alone did much to discredit the image of the Red Cross in the eyes of the Chinese public, it was just one in a string of cases. Last April, a picture of a 9,582 RMB dinner bill, for just 17 people of its Shanghai branch, surfaced on the Internet. During late June, just as the Guo Meimei scandal was unfolding, reports revealed the philanthropic organisation was responsible for overspending on one of its equipment procurement contracts by 4.2 million RMB ($670,000).

The government, in turn, has not dithered in its response to the scandal: the Guo Meimei story was extensively reported in the news, with the woman being trailed by paparazzi, while allegations of corruption related to the Red Cross disappeared from the media radar.

While the Red Cross story will set philanthropy back a few years in China, it does also simultaneously provide the opportunity for people in China to push for more transparency.

Just a month ago, for instance, an anti-corruption website was created in China, offering people the chance to report any cases of bribes or graft they were aware of. The website received over 200,000 views in just two weeks before the government started blocking user IPs, and eventually pressured the webmaster to take it down. Granted, it’s not much, but it does show a certain willingness on people’s part to seek an outlet through which to discuss and condemn corruption.

Microblogging, on the other hand, seems to be the new go-to for Chinese to vent their complaints, and has changed the face of media communication in China. With one million messages posted every single hour on the leading microblog platform Sina Weibo, the government has to wrestle with a new problem. It was on Weibo the Guo Meimei pictures were found, and it is where most of the country’s scandals first see the light. Even topics concerning Tibet, the events of Tiananmen and the recent revolutions in the Middle East can be discussed by fooling the censors.

The government in China, for the Party’s 90th birthday, has pledged to deal with corruption; top graft offenders are executed, and new audits of government officials (10 figures audited every year) have been set in motion for the years to come. But whereas the government had hitherto controlled the speed of the machine, the anonymous Internet world has changed the name of the game, and there may just be two ways of keeping up: clamping down or loosening up. Every minute that goes by makes suppression more difficult.
This article was from HUNTERREALESTATE in Hangzhou...........

So in generally - be aware of the scheme ruling all over China:
Nobody trust anybody.
Everybody tries to take advantage whenever there is the slimmest chance to do so.
Your money must be in MY pocket as fast as possible.
You pay for goods - you get lousy quality - you surely do not get your money back.
Cheating even the smallest amounts is common behavior.
The fear of getting cheated is everywhere.
Fake RMB notes (popular = RMB 50) on the rise.
Crazy discussions / fights even because of the smallest amounts.
This is important to know if you are planning to do business in China with chinese partners.
The list is endless !

No comments: