YUNFEI SUO WRITES – The world needs to know that anti-corruption efforts are very high on the agenda of the Chinese government. The efficiency of the methods used has varied.
The catalogue of China’s anti-corruption acts are primarily contained in the Anti-Unfair Competition Law and the Criminal Law. The intensity of corruption in China led to establishment of these acts (Wu 11-15). In this regard, the legal blueprints in both private and public sectors were established to curb corrupt practices. From this, the country established the ‘public [anti-corruption] act’, which focuses on criminalizing activities such as money laundering, bribery, gifts, and payments to receive favors.
To begin with, these acts led to the definition of new criminal offenses to incorporate bribe givers. The Anti-Unfair Competition Law takes the hard-line on commercial bribery, and individuals found guilty of it are punished through administrative and economic sanctions. Those who are targeted may be investigated and fined, as well as their illegal incomes confiscated (Hope et al. 20). Such cases include bribery involved in buying and selling of goods.
Criminal law condemns giving and receiving money or valuable items from other people with an intent of being favored or offering favors. Therefore, it covers workers in all types of organizations who are convicted of bribery in any level of operations (Hope et al. 29-36). Such individuals are charged with fines, confiscation of property, imprisonment, and death sentence.
Impact on Government Officials and the People
The effects of the anti-corruption act are far reaching. For instance, government officials who are found guilty of the criminal offence are fired and face a disciplinary panel. By realizing that this law may affect them, some businessmen have left China and invested there. However, China collaborates with other countries to ensure fugitives are repatriated and asset recovery achieved. The public is often used to disclose the assets of the corrupt officials, who are consequently detained and denied legal protection (Wu 19).
Citizens of this country are severely affected by the anti-corruption act, because those who are found trying to bribe in order to get jobs, travel, or rent a house are severly fined (Zhan and Lavena 66-75). Often enough, civilians end up with jail terms. or are even sentenced to death, depending on the magnitude of the offense. Once sentenced, no reduction in sentence or parole is possible.
Impact on Business Sector
The consequences of the anti-corruption act on the business sector are already evident in the country. For luxurious cars, the effect is felt both in the Chinese market and among foreign suppliers. Hence, there is a drop in sales of cars.
For example, the government of China seeks to investigate anyone who buys a luxurious car (Zhan and Lavena 56). Such laws affect the marketing of such vehicles. Chinese authorities act on the assumption that luxurious and executive cars are owned by people who must have gained money using dubious means. Therefore, the demand of these cars is threatened, and many people do not want to be investigated on how they got money to purchase them. Thus, sales go down and the affected companies suffer various consequences.
All in all, China has always experienced high level of corruption propagated by both government and non-governmental officials. It has always been a perpetual problem for the country, thus leading to negative effects on the business environment. Consequently, the government enacted the anti-corruption act in a bid to completely eradicate this vice. Such strategies yield long lasting fruits that enhance good leadership and produce a morally upright nation.
Hope, Ole-Kristian, Heng Yue, and Qinlin Zhong. “Do Politically Connected Directors Affect Accounting Quality? Evidence from China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign (Rule 18).” SSRN, 2017. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2899403. Accessed 3 February 2017.
Wu, Chonghao. Regulating Government Ethics: An Underused Weapon in China’s Anti-corruption Campaign. Cambridge University Press, 2016.
Zhang, Yahong, and Cecilia Lavena, eds. Government Anti-corruption Strategies: A Cross-cultural Perspective. CRC Press, 2015.