China has been cracking down on corruption. Its new leaders have been warning against excessive displays of wealth from public officials, and several high-profile cases have toppled the careers of politicians who were once considered untouchable.
Hong Kong-based chairman of KPMG Michael Andrew has been interviewed by The Australian on a number of issues affecting business relations between Australia and its biggest trading partner China. Andrew, in the interview, says doing business in Asia’s largest economy has completely changed in recent months.
“At the moment you can’t even give a mooncake — a traditional greeting — to a Chinese government official . . . This has all happened in three months — it has gone from the way business is done in China to the way business isn’t done and there are a number of senior people very scared about their past history.
“If you talk to the chairman of any state-owned enterprise, this is their No 1 issue — to ensure they are compliant with the new direction. In the longer term, you are seeing a very different business culture come through.”
He said this was changing the way Chines companies moved into Australia:
“For Chinese companies coming to Australia, it used to be driven by entrepreneurs,” he said. “Now you have state officials alongside saying, ‘Have you done the appropriate due diligence? Have you signed off the regulatory requirements? What lawyers are involved?’ You are seeing a much more international standard of investment.”
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