China Country Profile

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A Snapshot of Corruption in China 

The China country profile provides a detailed analysis of the country's efforts in curbing corruption, but does also dig into China's challenges and the effects of these on its business climate throughout its chapters devoted to Business and Corruption and the country's Regulatory Environment in the General Information section. The government has aimed at containing corruption by enacting laws and enforcing integrity systems, for instance:

  • Effective from 1 May 2011, the amended Criminal Law criminalises bribery of foreign government officials and officials of international public organisations. This illustrates that the Chinese government is making efforts to crack down on corruption.
  • Chinese authorities have begun to regulate gift cards since June 2011, as part of its anti-corruption efforts. The regulation aims to combat money laundering, illegal cash withdrawals, tax evasion, and bribery.
  • A recent anti-corruption campaign led by President Xi Jinping has focused on tightening the control of military license plates in order to crackdown on the abuse of military license plates by military officials. The new regulation took effect on 1 May 2013, prohibiting the use of military license plates on luxury cars such as Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs.
  • China joined the international group of combating tax evasion on 27th August 2013 by signing the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. China is now the 56th signatory to the convention.

However, the government still faces challenges in curbing this phenomenon, including:

  • Many companies have run into difficulties with the authorities because of corrupt behaviour by their agents or business intermediaries. The activities of agents are difficult to control; therefore, it is important to thoroughly vet agents.
  • Sectors that are heavily regulated by the government, such as banking, finance and construction, are the most susceptible to corruption.

An extensive description of the levels of corruption within China's institutions and sectors are outlined in the profile's Corruption Levels. To counter these challenges the government has set up a strong legal framework, broadened the freedom of the press and civil society activities. For a more detailed analysis of the Chinese government and civil society achievement in the fight against corruption, visit the Public Anti-Corruption Initiatives and Private Anti-Corruption Initiatives chapters.


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Publication date: October 2013

Data verified by GAN Integrity Solutions