In November last year the Shenzhen Institute of Standards and Technology awarded the first ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management System certificate in China, an important milestone in the country’s persistent fight against corruption.
The awardee was China International Marine Containers (Group) Ltd. (CIMC) – Tianda Airport Support Ltd. CIMC is a leading supplier of logistics and energy equipment. It is headquartered in Shenzhen, the mainland region adjacent to Hong Kong.
CIMC supplies containers, vehicles, energy, chemical and food equipment, offshore, logistics services, and airport facilities, among other things.
The company was founded in January 1980 and listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 1994, and then on Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in December 2012.
According to SZNEWS.COM, the ISO 37001 certificate was presented during the Anti-Bribery Management International Best Practice Symposium at the Opening of the 3rd Plenary Meeting of the International Organization for Standardization Governance of Organizations Technical Committee.
In 2014, Shenzhen reportedly started developing an anti-bribery management standard of its own, also known as the Shenzhen Standard, which was promulgated in June 2017. That development represents a progression of anti-corruption culture, from taking reactive actions to taking precautionary and preventive measures. It is a significant achievement for Shenzhen, particularly in view of its status as a pioneer Chinese city in terms of openness and reform.
The amended Anti-Unfair Competition Law came into force on January 1 this year. Among other things, it redefined commercial bribery including corporate liability. Perhaps the recent events in Shenzhen — awarding an ISO 37001 certificate and developing the separate Shenzhen Standard — will serve as a model to follow by the rest of China towards a level playing field and a culture of integrity for doing businesses.
Dale Ko is an independent anti-corruption consultant based in Hong Kong. He formerly served for about twenty years in the Operations Department of the Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), including as Principal Investigator. He can be contacted here.