Today’s China Readings June 21, 2012

The best way to read this blog is to subscribe by email, especially if you are in China, as Sinocism is still blocked here. The email signup page is here, outside the GFW. You can also follow me on @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop. Comments/tips/suggestions/donations are welcome, and feel free to forward to recommend to friends. Thanks for reading.

The Global Times writes in a horrific story that Sexual abuse of children ‘left behind’ by migrant worker parents is on the rise. Just this week we learned that a teacher in Gansu has been arrested for raping or molesting at least 8 girls aged 10-13–甘肃教师强奸多名小学生续:受害者多为留守儿童. The Hukou system is a big part of the problem, as most cities do not provide adequate access to schooling for migrant children, but poverty and cultural taboos around discussions of sex and child abuse are also to blame, as is the universal trait of human depravity. Unfortunately for these “left behind” kids their dads are not around to beat the predator to death, as a Texas father just did.

Abolishing the Hukou system might help but it will not be enough. Some parents leave their kids in the villages because they want to work longer hours and make and save more money. Unfortunately, serious Hukou reform is unlikely, especially for tier 1 cities, as most urban resources are already overtaxed and prejudices towards rural Chinese remain ingrained in society. I discussed some of these issues in last year’s Are You Willing To Send Your Child To The Same School As The Children Of Vegetable And Rice Sellers?

Toxic Food du jour is back. Mengniu admitted that web reports of spoilage and contamination at one of its ice cream plants were true and promised, once again, to fix things–蒙牛乳业承认一冰淇淋厂脏乱差 称责任人被停职.

Mengniu has a history of food safety problems, but Denmark’s Arla Foods thinks there is great potential for the firm, having just spent $283 million for a 6% stake in the company. The seller? Fang Fenglei’s Chinese private-equity fund Hopu Investment Management, very smart money. Will the Arla executives feed their children Mengniu products?

Caixin looks at the systemic issues in China’s food industry in China’s Food Fright. “Caixin has found that these publicized food safety scandals represent only a fraction of unsafe food production practices. Hundreds of chemical food additives are pumped into products that Chinese people consume every day.”

Former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman has joined Brookings as a distinguished fellow. Real Republicans do not join the Brookings, so let the speculation begin about what this might mean for his future political plans. Speaking of politics, House Science Committee Chairman Ralph Hall said that Obama ‘bows’ and ‘scrapes’ to Chinese ‘enemy’ during a hearing about US-China scientific collaborations.

Reuters reports that the SEC is seeking Big 4 audit papers from China:

“The Chinese arms of all of the Big Four audit firms have been asked by U.S. regulators to turn over documents related to audits of China-based companies that are listed in the United States, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday…The formal requests made by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission raise the stakes in a standoff between U.S. authorities, the companies and Chinese officials over access to the auditors’ work papers.”

China accounting guru Paul Gillis recently wrote on his China Accounting Blog that:

“Without resolution, the only meaningful option for the SEC, and the PCAOB, is for the PCAOB to deregister the firms and for the SEC to ban them from practice before the SEC…The consequence of those actions would be that U.S. listed Chinese companies would be without auditors and unable to find them. Having an auditor is a listing requirement of the exchanges, so under exchange rules the companies face delisting. The U.S. listed Chinese companies would be unable to file financial statements as required. That should lead the SEC to eventually deregister the companies with the SEC.”

Not that the cold IPO market needs any more chilling, but how can the SEC responsibly approve any IPO applications by Chinese firms until this issue is resolved?

Today’s links:

The best way to read this blog is to subscribe by email, especially if you are in China, as Sinocism is still blocked here. The email signup page is here, outside the GFW. You can also follow me on @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop. Comments/tips/suggestions/donations are welcome, and feel free to forward to recommend to friends. Thanks for reading.

Digest powered by RSS Digest

Subscribe to the Free Sinocism China Newsletter! Enter Your Email In The Box Below And Start Getting Smarter About China.