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Approved in China. E-mail
City Life - Blogs & Columns
Written by Sunman
Everything we design and make in China has to be approved by some govt 'Quality Bureau'. What we make we pretty much try to keep away from the prying eyes of the competition, as we're good at it and they'd love to know how were are so good.

Now, we have some products that we have been selling for about 3 years in China - simple components that go into mobile phone systems - and they've never been approved because they are made to a customers spec and they go into a customers system so there is no real need for the parts to be approved. Makes sense to everyone, almost. Well, now, after all these years we have to get these parts 'approved' to make sure they are of a suitable quality for sale in China (actually standard practice). So we have to submit a pile of documentation to a certain department for them to review and approve. Trouble is, they don't have anyone who understands our technology or who is competent or qualified to do it - so they have recruited an 'expert' to do it for them. This 'expert' and his 4 cronies (yes, 5 people in total) have to review and approve our products and the entire documentation from specifications, drawings, process, test, inspection...etc.

They want to do it this weekend at a place of their choosing and we have to pay for all their transport, entertainment (hookers etc.) and expenses. And get this - they cannot provide receipts so we have to, sanctioned by me of course, break the law and avoid the tax process and do it the "chinese way". That's right, I am being asked to break the law in China by a govt department.

Now, the 5 'experts' who will review our documentation - I asked who they will be and how do I know they are qualified and I was told that no one knows. For all I or anyone else knows they could be from one of our competitors. What we do is so specialised that we have a hard job recruiting anyone in China but all of a sudden, this dept has found 5 experts from nowhere. I was discussing this with my staff and of course by this time I was getting a bit angry and agitated. "But you've been in China for 6 years, you know how these things work" I was told by a senior manager. I know, that but it never makes it any easier.

I spend a lot of time explaining to my staff that as a WOFE we need to be 100% legal, above board, honest and by the book at all time and then I am asked - no, make that forced - to break the law, just so that we can continue to sell our products. I could refuse and take this higher, maybe thru the tax bureau, but all I'd do is make a rod for may own back and within months our company would literally be forced out of business as the people who lost face got their own back on me via friends and contacts.

So what can I do about this farce - FUCK ALL! Bite my tongue and move onto something else. I simple told the manager who is dealing with this to do it, pay it and pretend our conversation never took place and get the financial department to find invoices from somewhere else to cover the shity fkn mess. All of this AND the quality 'inspection' is supposed to be free. HAHA! FKN HA!

Ok, so it is a minor thing that happens everyday in China, but it's only one of MANY that build up and put you in such a downer in the Cycle of Funk. I also have fix a small hole in a plasterboard wall that the door handle went through as I slammed the door open so hard. oops, temper temper.

Our valuable Editor Sunman has been with us since Monday, 28 January 2013.
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+2 #2 dave 2013-01-28 19:30
Taking the guys out and getting them hookers is par for the course. what you have to watch out for is at a later date, them saying you need to provide more documentation (at a location of their choosing) - more booze, more hookers, and this time...more people to satisfy. One friend of mine ended up spending 20,000 on a license once over the period of 6 weeks. he got fed up, but had learned what paperwork he needed, then went to the next town and 35 rmb later he had a license in hand. as for submitting documents - you can bet your ass that's going to the competition who's a local, or someone looking to get into your piece of the pie. submit old documents or ones that are public domain. or just ones that don't work. and start looking to relocate your factory to a new town. Because I'm sure you're already aware of this with the corrupt officials: THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING
+2 #1 Jay 2013-01-28 14:51
You have every right to be pissed. Yes, that's the way things work in this crappy country but it doesn't mean you have to "be ok with it". The five govt officials will not only suck you dry they'll sell your documents to your Chinese competitors-to-be. From the petty corruption on the daily basis to the huge environmental problems caused by big corruption China is lowering standards on a global basis.

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