China Business: The Rules of the Game

By Carolyn Blackman | Go to book overview

16
Exorbitant levies and
sundry taxes

The most colourful, although not the most appreciated, aspect of bureaucratic relations with business in China is that surrounding the taxing and regulation of business by local bureaucrats. Since bureaucrats have the power to interpret and implement central laws and regulations, and to devise and impose their own local regulations, individual bureaucrats take on great significance for business. A Chinese commentator put it this way: ‘Official help is so important that most Chinese take it as a test of their friendship with others’(Zhu 1996).

The jurisdiction of local bureaus overlaps and their regulations sometimes conflict. Apparently this conflict does not worry the Chinese as much as it does Western managers. It is the Chinese view that conflict between regulations is to be expected: ‘[D]ifferences among local regulations and departmental rules or between local and departmental rules shall be considered as normal phenomena, and the existence of one regulation shall not negate or replace another regulation’ (Corne 1997, p. 147, quoting Ying and Dong 1991) The next case study demonstrates the view and strategies of a Western general manager faced with this problem.

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China Business: The Rules of the Game
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Preface viii
  • Glossary xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Quick Reference Chart to Aspects of the Chinese Business Scene xix
  • I - The Chinese Face of Globalisation *
  • 1 - A Lot to Learn: ‘nowwhere Else in the World is It like This!’ 3
  • 2 - Sustaining Competitive Advantage 16
  • 3 - Corruption: ‘legitimate Loot’ 24
  • 4 - Communication 40
  • II - Strategic Plans Meet Chinese Reality *
  • 5 - Disappointed Expectations 55
  • 6 - Hidden Agendas 68
  • 7 - Corrupt Practices 83
  • 8 - Trust 94
  • III - Foreign Managers, Chinese Staff *
  • 9 - Shared Management 107
  • 10 - Culture Change 116
  • 11 - Skills Differential 133
  • 12 - Supervision 142
  • 13 - Manager Quality 151
  • IV - Bureaucracy and Business *
  • 14 - The Socialist Market Economy 169
  • 15 - Local Government Power 175
  • 16 - Exorbitant Levies and Sundry Taxes 185
  • 17 - Mutual Co-Operation, Mutual Benefits 194
  • 18 - Talking to the Bureaucrats 204
  • 19 - Conclusion 215
  • Bibliography 222
  • Index 226
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