Thursday, June 10, 2010

Know Who You Do Business With, Especially In China

When you buy that cheap product with the "Made In China" label, it would be nice if you knew what it is your money is supporting. McClatchy has a story up about how business is done in Yan'an. Yes, that would be this Yan'an:

In dark red letters chiseled into rock, a sign inside the state museum says, "Yan'an is the holy land of the Chinese Revolution." Outside, a towering statue of Mao Zedong looks over the town, which sits on the Yellow River, beneath the rolling hills of coal country.

Zhu Baoqi started out as a worker and invested in former State industries. As he proceeded he started to need money which is where a government official got involved and corruption finally cost Zhu his life. Corruption generally involves some convoluted circumstances and laying them out would take more space than reasonable when McClatchy has already done that work.
Although Guo and two of his henchmen got the death penalty and Wang got four years in prison, the head of the propaganda department at the court that tried them shrugged off the implications of the case.

"Crimes like murder and robbing and stealing are quite common these days in China. People usually don't pay attention," Li Tiesuo said. "If Zhu wasn't a billionaire, it wouldn't have created this big stir."

I have despised our reliance on China's cheap goods and our subsidization of a corrupt authoritarian dictatorship with our dollars. I also know just how difficult it is to avoid Chinese ownership anymore. Take a look at the ownership of major powertool manufacturers to find out how bad it is getting.

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