Bill Dodson at the This is China! Blog makes an interesting point on companies trying to escape local environmental regulations by relocating to the next, less demanding county in this post (quoting from this Reuters article on the same subject):
Despite the trend of polluting factories moving inland to provinces such as Hunan, Guangxi, Zhejiang and Jiangxi, there have been examples of authorities hitting back.
That implies in my mind that as Western companies expand into the interior of China, they need to do their due diligence about just who their neighbors are. And don’t just necessarily follow the big names into the small cities: the Central Government recently tagged some MNCs like Pepsi, LG and Samsung for fouling the environment.
A new IPE report, written in collaboration with investment bank CLSA and green group WWF, found Chinese public and media pressure was playing a crucial role in filling a void in official enforcement, with complaints made to environmental authorities increasing 30 percent annually and hitting 600,000 cases in 2004.
A modern-day Chinese society that values environment over making money: now that’s downright anti-socialist with Chinese characteristics.