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Multinationals Have Poor Record in Fulfilling Social Duties
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Many multinationals have failed to properly fulfill their social responsibilities in China, with some overtly violating local laws and regulations, according to a survey by Southern Weekly.


Tracking 126 multinationals over a 12-month period, the newspaper observed four kinds of typical malpractice: refusing to set-up internal labor unions, poor environmental practice, failing to deliver quality services and providing substandard products.


A few were guilty of bribing government officials or the management of other companies, said the weekly, without identifying their names.


In a breakdown, it said that 58 companies, or 46 percent of the companies surveyed, had refused to comply with the law requiring the establishment of labor unions while another 20, or 15.9 percent, had seriously damaged the local environment.


Thirty-seven companies, or 29.4 percent of the polled, provided substandard services or commodities to Chinese consumers with 19 of them the objects of repeated complaints.


The newspaper said that all the 126 companies surveyed are "Fortune 500" companies who have posted "outstanding" financial results in sales revenue, export volume and pre-tax profits.


The newspaper said that the survey was based on public information provided by government authorities, consumer associations, labor unions and media reports.


The newspaper said it had verified the information with the companies.


Official data showed that about 450 of the top 500 multinationals have invested in China and established more than 700 research centers. Forty of them have set up regional headquarters in China.


(Xinhua News Agency November 25, 2006)

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