Reports indicate that the fallen Chinese leader, Bo Xilai, will be sentenced on Sunday, for engaging in multiple crimes of corruption, and becoming a multi-millionaire through bribes and kickbacks. This case should serve to remind us that corruption, on the part of senior officials in China is rampant and out of control, no matter how much propaganda the country's government serves up to spin the truth. It is far too widespread to suppress.
Risk levels, for foreign companies and professionals, drawn like a moth to a Chinese flame, are high, and bogus arrests, and incarceration, can be a real possibility, especially if the government wants to level the playing field a bit, so try not to dominate local Chinese companies, please; You may regret it.
Worst of all, the new policies and laws that effectively end the ability of foreign nationals and companies to engage in any meaningful due diligence, are for me the last straw. Who wants to go on the record to approve local Chinese partners for a client, when routine inquiries constitute crimes against the state ? Do your client really want to jump in, feet first, and invest time & money, when one cannot ascertain risk levels of prospective joint venturers, and local partners ?
I have already advised readers to raise Country Risk levels for China; to those brave souls who still want to find a way to profit from China, I say: have a contingent escape plan in place, both for financial, as well as personal, risk. Can you say FCPA ?