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Foxconn Accused of Taking Bribes

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the only-politicians-can-do-that dept.

China 51

judgecorp writes "Device manufacturer Foxconn has been accused of taking bribes from local suppliers. The issue has been reported in Taiwan's Next magazine, and picked up by the China Post — and is being investigated by the Chinese authorities."

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wha? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551391)

The real story is who did they piss off enough in the Chinese government that the law is actually going enforced.

Re:wha? (2)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551481)

No, it just means someone didn't pay enough to the Chinese officials.

Bribery is kind of how business is done in China I have heard. There have been congressional hearings where people doing business in China have testified precisely that and being restricted from participating in their "business culture" reduces their ability to compete.

Re:wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551689)

It's like this in a lot of places. Used to be you couldn't do business in any FSU states without extensive bribery. You just work it into your cost of doing business.

Re:wha? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42552019)

how business is done in China

Whatever. Just keep my iStuff cheap and my Walmart prices low low and all that industry far away from me!

kthxbye

Re:wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42552495)

Here in the states, we call them kickbacks or incentives. For crying out loud, I have vendors offer me American Express gift cards every x number of toners I buy. What do you think that is?

Re:wha? (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42556515)

Here in the states, we call them kickbacks or incentives. For crying out loud, I have vendors offer me American Express gift cards every x number of toners I buy. What do you think that is?

There's a big difference:

Incentive: 'You give us $100, we'll give you $1 back'

Bribe: 'You give us $100, we'll give you (a contract equivalent to) $1000 back, even if you're shit'

Re:wha? (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year and a half ago | (#42553761)

No, it just means someone didn't pay enough to the Chinese officials.

More like the wife of Foxconn's CEO made a slight at the Chinese officials mistress. Chinese official loses face and has to make up for it by grandstanding and making the CEO lose face.

Re:wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42556115)

Do you honestly think bribery doesn't happen everywhere else? What is a lobbyist? It's a "change the term so people don't see the real ugliness it really is" trick (control the meaning of words and you control people - just like the term troll has been applied to those who harass and stalk others online, nothing more). Also see the film "The Aviator". It's the story of Howard Hughes and it outlines how politicians are bought and placed into offices to change the rules by corporate contributions to their campaigns, which if you look back both sides like hedging a bet in a horserace doing a win/place/show (so they can get them in and win no matter what for passing bills into law written by corporate executives rather than lawmakers, not reflecting the desire of the people but rather that of big business). It illustrates all of that during Howard Hughes' struggle with Juan Trippe of PanAm airlines against Hughes' TWA airlines. The point is, it happens here just like it does in China, except it's 'glossed over' with terms that redirect the psyche from what the actual situation is. People fall for it.

Re:wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42558013)

Depends on just who you're dealing with.

The central government is tough on corruption, while the local governments are (often) incredibly corrupt.

OMG (1)

scuzzlebutt (517123) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551399)

Say it ain't so!

Every company (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551417)

Come on, don't be so naive. Every large company takes bribes. Also, sometimes when they have to convince govt officers, they use money. Standard practice.

I am Shocked! (2)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551431)

"How shocked?" You ask? Shocked exactly to the point that my water army commanding officer pays me to be -- and not one yuan more!

Re:I am Shocked! (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about a year and a half ago | (#42555175)

Captain Renault moved to China after the fall of Vichy France?

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: Oh, thank you very much.

Captain Renault: Everybody out at once!

Wooooo! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551439)

A company I worked for had that happen, their Chinese manufacturer used counterfeit components from a shady supplier. Among those components were power transistors and voltage regulators which started exploding in our customers' medical devices. Fortunately we were able to treat their repairs as upgrades rather than a recall.

We have to thank our squinty-eyed friends, they are giving us reasons to move our manufacturing back into the 'states, or at least closer to home.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Wooooo! (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551743)

You mean Chinese Manuf. & QC personnel don't care about American's well-being... who would've guessed.

Re:Wooooo! (1)

Guppy (12314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42554207)

Among those components were power transistors and voltage regulators which started exploding in our customers' medical devices. Fortunately we were able to treat their repairs as upgrades rather than a recall.

For the sake of everyone involved, I hope this refers to the repair of the customer's devices, and not repairs of the customers themselves.

Re:Wooooo! (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about a year and a half ago | (#42556527)

You're kidding yourself if you think manufacturing done locally will somehow not cut corners and be more cost efficient when compared to possible litigation.

Duh? (1)

Mullen (14656) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551473)

From the Department of No Shit at our friends at Taiwan's Next magazine.

Anyone surprised?

I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551497)

Foxconn does something wrong and nobody has tried to link this to Apple yet ?

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551789)

Foxconn does something wrong and nobody has tried to link this to Apple yet ?

Bribery int he Orient? Shocking!!! Trying to hang this on Apple would be opening a massive can of worms since even Saint Google does business in China. China is rife with corruption along with several other major nations in the region and anybody who does business in China has to bribe people, it's quite simply a normal part of doing business over there and you won't get very far without it.

As a former buyer for a large company.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551505)

...that had a ton of products manufactured in China I am shocked!

Nah, not really, that's how you do business in China. At least it certainly was almost 20 years ago when I was working with them daily.

What ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551541)

Is it relevant ? Foxconn [youtube.com]

Foxconn EMPLOYEE accused of taking brides (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551543)

Unless I am missing something, it looks like Foxconn was the victim here. One of their employees was accused of taking bribes from a supplier, in order to give the supplier a contract from Foxconn. So the employee get the money, and Foxconn loses money by paying to much.

Re:Foxconn EMPLOYEE accused of taking brides (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552321)

Yeah, I read this and was flummoxxed because bribing a corporation is not illegal. If a supplier wants to sweeten the pot by sending a gift to their customers, there's absolutely nothing illegal about that. It's called good business.

Bribing an employee to award a disadvantageous contract to a supplier isn't illegal, either, but it'll get you shitcanned.

That's why your company trains you for this (1)

joeflies (529536) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551585)

The reason that you have to take all those anti-bribery / anti-corruption classes is not because of a theoretical chance that you might be put in those situations. It's because that certain countries, bribery is the expected way of doing business.

It's Foxconn Employees taking bribes from supplier (5, Informative)

dreadlord76 (562584) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551611)

This headline is really badly written.
A few high level Foxconn employees have been accused of taking bribes, by Foxconn. Foxconn called in the law enforcement on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, and is working with them to capture all the responsible parties. So rather than Foxconn taking bribes, it's Foxconn employees abusing their power, and embezzling against Foxconn by taking bribes from suppliers.

Re:It's Foxconn Employees taking bribes from suppl (1)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551711)

This headline is really badly written. A few high level Foxconn employees have been accused of taking bribes, by Foxconn. Foxconn called in the law enforcement on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, and is working with them to capture all the responsible parties. So rather than Foxconn taking bribes, it's Foxconn employees abusing their power, and embezzling against Foxconn by taking bribes from suppliers.

How are "High level employees" with business decision making powers, directorships, fiduciary responsibility and strategic control NOT considered foxconn? That's like saying "Oh no, that police officer acted on his own - the entire department isn't racist" when you find out that the chief, the deputy chief, the head of HR and all the duty sergeants are high ranking members of the KKK.

So, you're technically correct - foxconn, the corporation, did not engage in bribery - but in essence, the company DID, and was not significantly negatively impacted. I bet if I read the article, I could even figure out if they profited from the bribes...

Re:It's Foxconn Employees taking bribes from suppl (2)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551799)

I can tell you that if my local police department started up a serious investigation to weed out corrupt cops, I would be happy about it. If they found that he Chief of police was the ringleader and promptly filed charges against him, I would be shocked at our community's good fortune. If the above comments are correct, and it was Foxconn themselves that initiated the complaint, then they are cleaning up their own house and should be commended.

Re:It's Foxconn Employees taking bribes from suppl (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552269)

How are "High level employees" with business decision making powers, directorships, fiduciary responsibility and strategic control NOT considered foxconn?

Maybe this will help explain:
A bank employee embezzles from his employer. Headline reads: Bank steals money.
See the problem now?

It's not demonizing Foxconn, but ... (1)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552977)

How are "High level employees" with business decision making powers, directorships, fiduciary responsibility and strategic control NOT considered foxconn?

Maybe this will help explain: A bank employee embezzles from his employer. Headline reads: Bank steals money. See the problem now?

No, I don't. Because that's a false equivalency.

Anyone who is taking (or giving) bribes to generate business will also be (by default) in possession or use of money they don't deserve. Of course the officials engaged in bribery were also "embezzling". They were using (or receiving) money they didn't earn, that didn't go on the company books. It's an indirect result of the bribery. Yes, it's wrong, but it is (well, could be) incidental. I'm willing to admit I might be wrong about this, but embezzlement would come with any charges of bribery.

It's like getting accused of murder - you caused harm and are probably guilty of assault.

Re:It's not demonizing Foxconn, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42555925)

You're missing the key distinction, which is that Foxconn (and non-bribing competitors to the suppliers, should they exist) are the injured party here. If the "bribe" money went directly to Foxconn and is on their books, that's normal business and not actually a bribe at all, just a discount on the product being supplied. If the bribe money goes into the pockets of an individual at Foxconn, that is an employee profiting at the expense of his employer. So it's absurd to say that "Foxconn is taking bribes" when the bribes were given with the intent to replace a Foxconn employee's loyalty to his/her employer with loyalty to the supplier.

Re:It's Foxconn Employees taking bribes from suppl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42552443)

How are "High level employees" with business decision making powers, directorships, fiduciary responsibility and strategic control NOT considered foxconn?

If the illegal things they are doing benefits the company, then you can say the company is doing it. If the illegal things they are doing benefits them personally at the expense of the company, then you can't say it's the company doing it.

Re:It's Foxconn Employees taking bribes from suppl (1)

Vellmont (569020) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551775)


This headline is really badly written.

No, the headline offers a different perspective than you do. One that from the looks of it is more accurate than yours. A few high levels officials taking bribes, and the words "long established practice" more than add up to this being a systemic problem (and thus something part of Foxconn) rather than some isolated incidents. Neither article mentions anything about Foxconn calling the police about the bribes.

Later reports suggested that the police investigation was looking at several examples of this long-established practice, and that Foxconn had cancelled a contract with a supplier which was suspected of offering bribes.

Re:It's Foxconn Employees taking bribes from suppl (1)

dreadlord76 (562584) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552799)

Here, why don't you read this: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57563189-92/chinese-authorities-probe-foxconn-bribery-charges/ [cnet.com] Foxconn is cooperating with Chinese authorities investigating allegations that executives at the electronics manufacturer received illegal bribes from supply chain partners. The company, which produces consumer electronics for companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Sony, said in a statement that it brought in law enforcement officials to work with an internal audit team investigating the charges "against a number of Foxconn employees." The statement comes after Taiwan-based Next Magazine reported that a Foxconn executive had been arrested in September as part of the allegations. When queried by CNET, a Foxconn representative declined to address whether an executive had been arrested. "Since the matter is under investigation, we are not able to comment further," Foxconn said in a statement. "However, we can say that the integrity of our employees is something we take very seriously and any employees found guilty of any illegal actions or violations of our company's Code of Conduct will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." "We are also carrying out a full review of our policies and practices to identify steps we can take to strengthen such measures to further mitigate against such actions," the company added.

Re:It's Foxconn Employees taking bribes from suppl (1)

Vellmont (569020) | about a year and a half ago | (#42568999)

Sorry, but I don't take press releases by companies accused of bribery very seriously. Why should I? Do you just automatically believe the guy that said "I didn't do it?". If the police announced the same thing that might be something worth considering as a real source of information.

My Goodness! (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551621)

Foxconn taking bribes? I'm shocked! Shocked!

confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551637)

I understand how a government could take a bribe, or how an individual could, but...
What does it mean for a business to take a bribe?
How is it different from what businesses normally do?

Uhmmm.... so? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42551661)

There is absolutely nothing wrong, or even particularly shameful about accepting a bribe, unless you are accepting it in exchange for a favor that is illegal or otherwise considered unethical.

Re:Uhmmm.... so? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552009)

So where all these bribes for legal, ethical activity are being handed out? I want in on that action!

Even when bribes are being given to do your job (i.e. to get the police to actually investigate, to have your bid actually be considered, etc) it's pretty hard to make a case that it's ethical - after all if you were acting ethically you'd be doing your job regardless, and then what's the bribe for? Granted a bit of tit-for-tat happens pretty much everywhere to some degree as people prioritize their workload, but when it crosses the line to outright bribery you're pretty much firmly in unethical territory.

Re:Uhmmm.... so? (2)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552379)

Examples of completely ordinary, legal, and quite ethical bribes:

An employer offers an employee a hiring bonus if they sign on with them. That's nothing less than an outright bribe... and there's nothing shameful about offering it or receiving it.

Honorariums are basically bribery. You might get something in exchange for participating in a focus group, for instance.

Any sort of monetary reward for turning in evidence for a crime that the police have solicited public help on, which results in a conviction

There are others, but I trust you get the gist of things. Bribes are a perfectly normal aspect of living in a capitalistic society,

Re:Uhmmm.... so? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552649)

That's a very broad definition of bribery - by that definition even wages could be easily considered a bribe, after all you're giving someone money to alter their behavior are you not? While it is perhaps technically correct according to the secondary definition, the word is rarely used that way outside of casual conversation about people acting as independent agents (bribing a child to behave, or a friend to help you with an unpleasant task)

various primary defintions from around the web:
* money or any other valuable consideration given or promised with a view to corrupting the behavior of a person, especially in that person's performance as an athlete, public official, etc.: The motorist offered the arresting officer a bribe to let him go.
* Something, such as money or a favor, offered or given to a person in a position of trust to influence that person's views or conduct.
* the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty

Notice a common theme? In every case the underlying concept is that your attempting to influence the behavior of a person in a position of power, with the clear intent to get them to act in a manner contrary to that in which they were entrusted by their position to behave.

Re:Uhmmm.... so? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42554839)

Bribes aren't actually earned... they can be offered as some sort of "payment" for some service, but the service rarely, if ever, necessarily deserves such payment.

Re:Uhmmm.... so? (1)

maeglin (23145) | about a year and a half ago | (#42552039)

There is absolutely nothing wrong, or even particularly shameful about accepting a bribe, unless you are accepting it in exchange for a favor that is illegal or otherwise considered unethical.

Huh? If party A (entrusted with a duty by party B) takes money from party C and then makes a decision on behalf of party B based on that money rather than what is best for B, then it is an conflict of interest and it is unethical.

If party C pays party A to encourage a decision by A acting as an agent of A only, then it is not a conflict of interest and is not unethical. It's also not called a bribe.

So, in order to make a bribe ethical it's got to not be a bribe.

Next Media are like Gawker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42551847)

they are known rumourmongers and hardly ever check their information. like their tabloid cousins Apple Media, who focus on sex scandals. Next Media focus more on political scandal. They are worse than Fox News.

one of their libel lawsuits.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/zhang-ziyi-files-libel-lawsuit-336279

i wouldn't doubt Foxconn or Chairman Guo of condoning this, but never trust anything coming from these 2 libelous media moguls in Hong Kong(now incorporated in Taiwan).

Knock it off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42552085)

Don't buy chink shit.

Where's Our Share? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42552409)

Yeah, the "Chinese authorities" will be investigating why they didn't get a cut of the bribes! Dudes are pissed!

authorities (1)

ryen (684684) | about a year and a half ago | (#42553717)

>and is being investigated by the Chinese authorities

They're probably upset they were cut out of the bribe deals

Believing anything positive from Foxconn? (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year and a half ago | (#42554195)

Given how much Foxconn has done against its own and how far they've gone to hide it (and to attack the character of those who expose it), I am not surprised.

Bribery At the White House (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42554413)

Cash bribes are the currency at the U.S.A. 'White' House and Congress.

Being a purchasing agent can be very lucrative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42558929)

If you know the right way to hint at wanting a bribe and the right way to make sure it remains a secret. If you've ever known anyone who intentionally wanted to become a purchasing agent you can guess most likely why.

This is going to be local employees, not the corp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42560219)

If you pay a bribe, you pay a smaller amount in order to earn a larger amount. It would make no sense the other way around.

If FoxConn accepts bribes from suppliers, then that must mean they are locked into using that supplier. The supplier will by definition charge more than the value of the bribe in order to recover it.

Therefore it will never make sense for a profit-making enterprise to use bribe-paying suppliers.

Bribes are a big deal when it comes to giving up resources that you don't have direct monetary access to and where the higher inefficiency doesn't hurt yourself automatically. Like bribing someone to award government contracts. But in a closed system, bribes can't make any sense. Hence it's virtually certain that this actually refers to lower members of staff acting without central approval.

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