The China supply chain is full of challenges, and a recent article in The New York Times takes a close look at one of the most significant of all: a lack of integrity that now saturates both academic and business environments there.
In "Rampant Fraud Threat to China's Brisk Ascent," reporter Andrew Jacobs outlines a string of recent revelations that expose "the dishonest practices that permeate (Chinese) society, including students who cheat on college entrance exams, scholars who promote fake or unoriginal research, and dairy companies that sell poisoned milk to infants."
In fact, according to Jacobs, in China, "fakery in one area in particular education and scientific research is pervasive enough that many here worry it could make it harder for the country to climb the next rung on the economic ladder."
These are serious concerns. And, they add to an already long list of China supply chain headaches, including capricious trade rulings, rampant IP piracy and product health and safety concerns.
Jacobs details several recent high-profile cases of false credentials, embellished resumes, plagiarism and even high-tech subterfuge. For example, a recent study found that nearly one-third of the research articles submitted to scientific journals published by Zhejiang University were pirated from previously published research. Other investigations have exposed vaunted "doctors" and researchers as fakes.
The message is clear: When it's time for your company to do business in China, tread carefully. Dig deep for information about your suppliers, and establish a collaborative relationship from the start. After all, your company's business success depends on the integrity of your suppliers.