The National Development and Reform Commission has started an investigation into three foreign milk-powder producers, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Danone, and Nestlé. But such an investigation only works, if the investigation also tackles domestic firms, writes business analyst Shaun Rein in the Wall Street Journal.
[T]he government needs to make sure that it does not target foreign companies only, or target them unduly for corrupt practices while neglecting malfeasance by domestic companies. That would be playing to a fear already common among foreign multinationals: that the government unfairly protects Chinese companies and gives them more leeway than foreign competitors. It would also risk sending an unintentional message to domestic companies that they are off the hook when it comes to quality control, safety, and corruption issues. And that’s no way to restore the public’s confidence.
Food security is one of the key issues at the basis of the high prices for milk powder. The China Weekly Hangout held on March 21 a discussion with sustainability expert Richard Brubaker, Andrew Hupert and Chris Brown on food security and how the ongoing problems will lead to massive food inflation. In the end we (both in China and outside) will have to pay the price for safe food.
On July 1 Hong Kong we saw the annual march against Beijing rule. The +China Weekly Hangout will examine on Thursday July 11 (delayed hangout from July 4) the turnout, and how the relationship between Hong Kong and Beijing has developed, since China took over the former British enclave. You can read our announcement here, or join the debate at our event page here.