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Blacklisted Polluters Include MNCs

The environment has long been a topic of debate in China, and some of the issues have been covered here recently- e.g. increased fines for polluters [1], energy [2], and water [3].

While the general assumption is that the worst polluters are domestic firms that may escape punishment due to their local “guanxi” or because of the importance of their business to the local economy, foreign firms are not immune. It is reported by the Times of India that 33 international companies, including Panasonic, Pepsi-Cola and Nestle, “have been blacklisted for causing water pollution”:

Clearly the vast majority of these polluters are local firms, and it would be no surpise to find an element of political posturing behind the inclusion of some big foreign names. Nevertheless, it is a reminder to foreign investors that local sensitivities (from the environment to unions to consumer care) should be taken into acount, and that (as Apple recently found) activities in China may have implications at home as well.

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