India’s experience has something to teach Chinese firms about fighting corruption

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2016/7/12 23:53:01

Does India have the most transparent companies and China the most opaque firms? A survey supporting this point of view triggered heated discussion in China on Tuesday.

The survey, released by Berlin-based global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International, once again touched a sensitive nerve among many Chinese people, especially at a time when competition between China and India has become more subtle, after data showed India's economic growth outpacing that of China.

Several Chinese enterprises - including home appliance maker Galanz Group, which was mentioned in the survey - refused to recognize Transparency International's conclusion.

Media reports quoted the watchdog as saying that Chinese companies had the weakest overall performance in the survey because of weak or non-existent anti-corruption policies and procedures, or a clear failure to disclose these procedures in line with international practice. However, the Galanz Group said it was under no obligation to provide its financial data to the global watchdog - partly because it is not a listed company - and insisted that the company would not have been able to survive intense competition in the Chinese market and achieve success in today's business world if it had defects in its corporate governance. So we have reason to believe that it is too simplistic to say that Transparency International's survey has given the most authoritative and accurate picture of Chinese enterprises.

However, this does not mean that the anti-corruption watchdog's study should be ignored completely.

We may need to admit that some Chinese enterprises lag behind Indian firms in terms of improving transparency and fighting corruption. According to Transparency International, there are strict government requirements for financial disclosures in India, and some Indian firms such as Tata have been focusing on anti-corruption measures for a long time. In this regard, China has to learn from India's experience.

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was convened on November 8, 2012, China has launched numerous anti-corruption campaigns across the country, resulting in the arrest of some officials for abusing their positions to seek private interests. The anti-corruption campaigns in China have achieved positive results, but these campaigns should not be limited to supervising the government. Chinese enterprises also need to adopt anti-corruption policies and procedures in line with international practice.

Such efforts are necessary not only to support China's ongoing anti-corruption campaigns, but also to make contributions to the success of China's overseas investment, especially considering that India has become a major destination for Chinese capital, making it necessary for Chinese firms to comply with local anti-corruption rules.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.

Posted in: Eye on The Economy

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