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Corporate honesty certificates

China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-21 07:41

A bird’s eye view of buildings set against Shenzhen’s azure blue sky. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong province has introduced China's first standards on anti-bribery applicable to all enterprises.

The standards are not a compulsory certification system, but so far more than 60 domestic enterprises, including Vanke, a leading real estate enterprise, have expressed their desire to apply for certification that they meet the standards, as it is tantamount to gaining the label of an "honest, good and orderly" company, which will help them gain an upper hand over competitors without the certification.

Officials in Shenzhen said that enterprises with such a certification will also be chosen when it comes to government procurement contracts, projects and funds.

The introduction of the anti-bribery management system in Shenzhen has once again shifted public attention to the fight against corruption in China. Commercial bribery, if not checked, will further erode the integrity of the country's business environment and endanger its market fairness. Many top international enterprises go to great lengths to link their anti-bribery reputation to their public image.

China has taken a series of measures in recent years to effectively combat commercial bribery, from lawmaking to the building of the social credit system and the introduction of internal anti-bribery mechanisms in companies. For example, the country has increased the punishments for those found guilty of offering bribes in the Amendment to Criminal Law and defines the concept of commercial bribery in the revised anti-unfair competition law. The creditworthiness list of enterprises the country's business regulator set up in 2016 is also playing its role in combating commercial bribery.

The adoption of the first anti-bribery management system in Shenzhen provides an example for plugging the existing legal loopholes and strengthening the established anti-commercial bribery system. The participation of more and more enterprises in such a system is expected to further purify the country's commercial environment.

--Southern Metropolis Daily

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