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China Corruption. It’s A Guy Thing?

Posted in Legal News

Read an absolutely fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal on Gambian airline safety. The article is entitled, “In Africa, Aviation Woes Defeat a Zealous Watchdog,” and its focus is on apparently trumped up corruption charges against aviation reformer, Ms. Maimuna Taal-Ndure. Gambian Solicitor General Henry Carrol, “described Ms. Taal’s indictment as an “action of the government in fighting corruption.” Ms. Taal, he added, “was fighting with everyone and being very arrogant. Women in high offices do that a lot. They tend to be arrogant and bully men.”
The very same WSJ issue also has an article, entitled, “Shanghai Industrialist Sentenced For Embezzlement and Bribery,” on the provisional death sentence handed down to Wang Chengming, former chairman of Shanghai Electric Group Co., for “collective embezzlement and taking bribes.” Of course it is a male.
I have been living in or doing business with corrupt countries for over thirty years and one of the things I have noticed is corruption far more often runs with men then with women. I have a number of clients who are so convinced of this that they favor hiring women in emerging market countries.
I once had a client who was offered a major fishing concession by the Gambia. This client researched the hell out of the project and determined he would be able to secure at least a 100% return on his investment, assuming no need to make improper payoffs and no chance of having his business confiscated by the government. However, due to a complete lack of confidence in the truth of these two assumptions, he chose not to go forward with the project.
So am I right to think corruption is overwhelmingly a male phenomenon? Is this true in China? If so, why? I realize men hold more positions of power, but even on a percentage basis my experiences tell me women are far less corrupt. Do you agree? Is it sexist even to postulate this?

  • http://timurileng.blogspot.com Zhang Fei

    I can say with certainty that it’s got nothing to do with gender. There’s a lot of low-level corruption involving females in China – it’s just that the high-level cadres who get any press* tend to be overwhelmingly male.
    * The limited pursuit and coverage of corrupt high-level officials is mounted so the government can buttress the traditional millenia-old Chinese narrative that the central government is good, and it’s the provincial officials who are corrupt.

  • Jenny

    It is a gender thing. The corrupt females are a lot better at hiding their crime than the careless males. It is the lack of attention to details that did the males in.

  • http://www.chinahearsay.com Stan

    Good topic, but no one has any evidence one way or another. Excellent opportunity to speculate!
    I bet the usual “gift” giving to a government official in the amount of a few thousand RMB, a mobile phone, box of fruit at Spring Festival, etc. is quite gender neutral.
    The big splashy dinner, KTV, and hooker scenario, on the other hand, is a very male thing. Also can be much more expensive. Probably same deal with those trips abroad, like the ones Lucent is in trouble for right now – wonder how many female officials were involved on that one?

  • Chip

    I don’t have enough experience to quantify an opinion, but I personally assume men are more likely to be involved in corruption simply because I think men are just more evil in general. But we’re good at lifting heavy objects.

  • http://www.3q2u.com corbett

    Women don’t seem to drop as much cash on the KTV girls and booze. But does that mean they aren’t skimming? Ha. How are they affording that new LV bag or that Chanel scarf? Look closely. Those are not fakes.

  • http://experiencenotlogic.blogspot.com/ Will Lewis

    Different country, but Mexico City made a big push 10 years back to replace male traffic cops with female cops because they were deemed less corrupt. I think there was a 60 Minutes or something on this, but here’s a link:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/408622.stm

  • Law Office of Todd L. Platek

    Absolutely not a gender issue. You only noticed it more in males because males more obviously/publicly wield power. You also haven’t been involved with that many females. Believe me, it’s a 50/50 split.

  • anon

    My antecdotal evidence agrees with the other commentors here, female cadres are equally open to corruption but there are far fewer of them and they enjoy their ill gotten gain in a less obvious manner.

  • Martin Jones

    I think it is more a matter of opportunity to be corrupt. Men in China seem to have the edge over the women in that regard.

  • http://www.chinalawblog.com/2008/07/i_often_get_emails_from.html China Law Blog

    China Corruption By The Numbers. With Your Help, Coming Soon To An Internet Near You.

    Received an email the other day from TRACE International asking us to plug their excellent BRIBEline website that seeks to document global corruption. The website records anonymous reporting of bribe demands: Bribeline is a secure, multi-lingual websit…