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CCTV Accuses Bank of China of Money Laundering, Helping Elite Move Abroad

Posted: 07/9/2014 5:57 pm

bank of chinaCCTV has broadcast a report accusing the Bank of China of engaging in money laundering to aid wealthy Chinese citizens emigrate abroad, reports the SCMP.

The money laundering is allegedly being done through a money transferring system at the Bank of China called You Huitonghe. Through the system, wealthy Chinese are able to send an unlimited amount of funds overseas after applying for immigrant investor programs.

The total amount involved is unknown, but one Guangdong branch has reportedly sent 6 billion yuan (US$970 million) overseas. By law, a Chinese citizen isn’t allowed to move more than US$50 thousand out of the country per year.

The CCTV report went undercover at an emigration information conference at a five-star hotel in Beijing’s Central Business District. There, an employee from the Shuguang Xili branch of the Bank of China was supposedly caught on video saying:

What we help you do is exchange large sums of money into foreign currency. You can do it all in one step. 

The Bank of China employee was to have brazenly said:

We don’t care where your money comes from, or how you made it. In any situation, we can help you take care of it and move it outside the country.

The Bank of China employee further described the process of laundering the money:

The Renminbi is first transferred to a Guangdong branch, then the currency is exchanged (into another currency). This high exchange rate is accomplished with the cooperation between us and the immigration intermediaries. We won’t tell anyone else. It’s only when the client himself comes asking questions that we’ll finally start talking.

Immigration intermediaries are said to have conspired with the Bank of China in order to obfuscate the source of the funds. An immigration intermediary summed up Bank of China’s role:

If you want to apply in an investor program, you will have to put your money through the Bank of China. To stay over there and prosper, if you have the need, then just go to them directly.

Photo: Planet Minecraft


Foxconn Boss: Worker Suicides Are Not Our Fault

Posted: 07/2/2014 5:12 pm

terry gou guo taiming foxconn ceoThe head of Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn has come out to say a spate of suicides over the years at the factories in China are not related to poor labor conditions.

Terry Gou (Guo Taiming), the founder and chief executive of Foxconn, told a shareholder meeting that 90% of the suicides that have happened at Foxconn are “due to personal problems and family disputes”. Gou also told investors that with 470,000 employees, odds are some will commit suicide.

Guo did show some compassion, though, saying suicide does not solve any problems, and that anyone with suicidal thoughts should call the suicide prevention hotline.

Foxconn came to media prominence when a rash of suicides took place at the mega-factory complex between 2010 and 2012. As a result, staff made changes to the work environment that include reduced work hours, increased pay, the installment of safety nets to catch jumpers, psychological staff to help workers.


Photo: China Daily


Come to China, Get a Job, Work as a Government Bureaucrat

Posted: 06/6/2014 6:40 pm

expat bureaucrats Are you interested in coming to China to teach English over the summer? That’s so pre-millennial. Nowadays, there’s a spanking-new job for fresh-faced expats: government bureaucrat.

The foreign trade and economic cooperation bureau of Foshan, Guangdong has made the surprise move of hiring four foreigners with one more to come to help attract international investment, compile overseas investment information and liaison with Top 500 companies around the world, reports Shanghai Daily.

That’s right: come to China, work for the government as the government. You’ll already be everything the public envies: young, have the best possible job as a civil servant, and hold a foreign passport.

These “international investment promotion consultants” have attracted a lot of media attention that has proved to be “intimidating” to 22 year-old Abbey Heffer from England, reports China Real Time. Heffer doesn’t enjoy the reaction she receives from people when she tells them her age.  “You can see the shock on people’s faces,” when I tell them, she said. “I’d rather people judged us for our unique skills.”

The media attention, unfortunately, hasn’t been about any of the unique abilities of the new recruits, so judging may prove to be elusive. Hired from a selection of 72 applicants, one thing we can ascertain is that speaking Mandarin isn’t necessarily one of their unique skills: here’s a photo of Nicolas Santo, 26 years-old and from Uruguay, sitting at his desk with a posted set of beginner Chinese characters and accompanying pinyin behind him.

expat bureaucrats

Zhou Zhitong, director general of the Foshan Bureau of Commerce, says that the hiring is a demonstration of Foshan’s ability to enact dynamic change. “For the past 35 years, we worked at attracting foreign investors to build factories [in China]. Now China is going through another round of reform, [during which] we should target bringing in foreign talents.”

READ: Getting a Green Card is Now Easier Than Ever

Described by deputy director Yu Hongping ”like a fresh breeze to the bureau,” what does this mean for these new overseas Chinese bureaucrats? What do they hope to change? As Santo told the Shanghai Daily, “It’s a great opportunity for me to know about the country and I want to bring something new and subversive.”

Subversive? From a government bureaucrat? As great as it is to attain the lofty position of a civil servant, these civil servants have not gotten access to the “iron rice bowl” as each are only “temporary workers” signed to a one-year contract that may limit their “subversiveness”.

Photo: WSJ China Real Time, Shanghai Daily


Dongguan minimum wage to increase by 14%

Posted: 12/18/2012 3:29 pm

Dongguan’s minimum wage is set to increase by 14% next month, according to the Southern Metropolis Daily.  The wage is currently set at RMB1,100 a month or RMB10.5 per hour, but Deputy Mayor Tang Qingshou says it’s time for a pay hike.

The Central Government is behind the move, Tang told investors, noting it is pushing cities to increase the minimum wage at least once every two years.

Since last year, the city has been holding conferences for foreign investors to help improve communication and understanding about the city’s business conditions.

This comes at the end of a year that has seen manufacturing jobs return to developed countries as wage increases have driven the cost of manufacturing in China upward. As an article in The Economist said in March: “The old stereotypes about low-wage sweatshops are as out-of-date as Mao suits. The next phase will be interesting: China must innovate or slow down.”

The Chinese government claims to be proactively shifting from low-end manufacturing to emerging industries, as the front page of today’s Shenzhen Daily says.

Meanwhile, The Economist is also questioning whether manufacturing giant Foxconn can continue to grow as the number of workers willing to work for low wages decreases.


Shenzhen to have safe tap water later this year

Posted: 02/15/2012 9:53 am

Last Tuesday, Shenzhen’s Water Affairs Bureau announced that residents of the city can expect to have safe and clean drinking water pouring from their taps as early as the second half of 2012.

Part of this is the result of 18.1 bln RMB invested throughout the current Five Year Plan, writes the Southern Daily newspaper, raising Shenzhen’s wastewater treatment ratio from 36% to upwards of 91%, but also in part due to new water sources. Shenzhen’s current main source of drinking water, East River, is also the single largest source of raw water supply for Hong Kong.

Shenzhen also announced that it has raised its wastewater reuse ratio from 1% to 27.1%. The city is slated to undergo a water quality inspection in July to evaluate how its drinking water holds up against provincial and national water quality standards.

Interestingly, the Southern Daily story seems to imply that Shenzhen was only able to achieve this somewhat miraculous feat after privatizing its water treatment facilities.

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