Thursday, July 5, 2007
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For China Inc., it's going to get worse before it gets better
China said on Wednesday that nearly a fifth of the food and consumer products that it checked in a nationwide survey this year were found to be substandard or tainted, underscoring the risk faced by its own consumers even as the country’s exports come under greater scrutiny overseas.This is going to be a huge, long-term headache for Beijing. Brand images are not easy to change, and China has been beset by a perfect storm of health and safety scares over the past six weeks. Furthermore, as Barboza points out, improving the brand is not merely a function of the central government "getting it" (and cases like this one suggest that they do not "get it" across the board):
Experts say aggressive and opportunistic entrepreneurs continue to take advantage of the country’s chronically weak enforcement of regulations, choosing to blend fake ingredients into products; to sign contracts agreeing to sell one product only to later switch the raw materials for something cheaper; and to doctor, adulterate or even color foods to make them look fresher or more appetizing, when in fact they might be old and stale.strong enforcement of regulations will require a widespread change in both the government and business cultures, and addressing head-on issues of corruption.
In other words, this problem won't be going away anytime soon.posted by Dan on 07.05.07 at 09:44 AM
Chrysler signs deal to import Chinese cars to the U.S.
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