The May 2007 issue of Zhejiang Provincial Party School’s Data Communication discussed how foreign-owned companies evade their corporate social responsibility in China, and proposed counter-measures to address the problem.
Chinese consumers are worried about the unhealthy ingredients added to their daily food. This worry is reflected in a recent Internet BBS posting about unethical pig feeding and the heated discussion it caused in Internet forums across China.
A report has surfaced and been widely reprinted on Chinese official websites and Blogs naming 55 kinds of toxic food in China, ranging from daily rice, flour, vegetables, meat, eggs, and fruits to famous seasonings and gradients, formulations, etc. [1, 2] Vegetables laced with very toxic residual pesticides have been labeled as "harmless" and widely sold.
The price of basic essentials increased dramatically in China last year. Food prices climbed more than 18%, while the price of pork soared 50%. Families with low incomes, numbered in the hundreds of millions in China, spend between 30% and 50% of their income on food for the table. The Chinese government is stepping in to introduce heavy fines for retailers and producers if they increase the price of basic necessities.
VOA published an article that explored the reasons why there are no product recalls in China, while there have been constant recalls of China made products in other countries. According to Wang Hai from the Consumer Rights Group, one reason is that there is no recall system in China. Another reason is that the product safety standard, which is set by the manufacturers themselves, with little input from consumers, is lower than that in other countries. Moreover, the Consumer Rights Association is set up by the government and has only a limited ability to represent consumers. China is also lacking a 3rd party inspection agency that is independent from the existing ones run by the government. However, implementing the product safety policy may prove costly and the increased costs may result in many manufacturers not being able to survive.
Source: Voice of America, January 9, 2008
China’s toy exports totaled US$ 7 billion from January to October of 2007, a 20.1 percent increase from the year before. The official statistics showed that following the large scale of toy recall, toy exports were down 6.2 percent in September. The number then rebounded back to 21 percent, consistent with the growth in the first ten months. The European Union and the US are two of the largest markets and account for 67.6 percent of toy exports. It has been predicted that the increasing cost, operation model and reduced export taxes may affect future toy exports. China remains the world’s largest toy export country.
Source: BBC Chinese.com January 6, 2008 http://news.bbc.co.uk/chinese/simp/hi/newsid_7170000/newsid_7173600/7173685.stm