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China companies allegedly bribe their way to ISO certs

Some Chinese companies have obtained quality-control certificates through fraudulent means including paying bribes to government officials, according to an undercover investigation by state-run Xinhua News Agency.
The ISO9000 quality standard certifications can be obtained “as long as you give money,” even if you are not qualified, a certification agent told undercover reporters from Xinhua.

However, “if you don’t offer money, you will have troubles,” the agent said.

The reporters found that a Beijing-based engineering firm had paid 6,500 yuan ($1,043) to Beijing Oriental Letter Exhibition Certification Consulting Co Ltd, a certification consultancy company, to purchase its training and subsequent certificates on quality control. Part of the training was to teach the engineering firm how to dodge certification rules knowing that it was unqualified for certification.

Based on the consulting company’s advice, the engineering firm bribed two examiners from a third-party certification body — Beijing Hengbiao Quality Certification Co Ltd — to obtain quality-control certificates. The examiners reportedly shortened a nine-month inspection period to one month upon receiving the bribes.

In another case, a manager at Shantou Qizheng Toy Technology Service Co Ltd told Xinhua reporters that they “usually offer each examiner cash gifts between 1,000 yuan ($160) and 1,200 yuan ($192), besides paying for their travel expenses,” and “this is a long-existing unwritten rule.”

The report has drawn criticism on the integrity of third-party certification agencies. Legal expert Liu Chunyan at Tongji University suggested the government blacklist the agencies engaged in fraudulent certification services.

Sources: South China Morning Post, Xinhua News (新华网)


Hui Zhi is the Senior Manager for Content with the China Compliance Digest, where a version of this post first appeared.

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1 Comment

  1. The type of behaviour reported, if true, is surely damaging for China's international reputation, but it is also prevalent elsewhere (if not so highly publicised). Try Eastern Europe and former Soviet Republics or African and Asian so-called democracies. It takes generations to change cultural or subcultural mindsets and a strong lead by the Chinese government will reap rewards. Merely blocking such firms from government business doesn't do it for me, I am afraid.

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