Based on THIS article. Where is the ethical line?
1. When can foreign business customs go too far? It is certainly a nice gesture when someone bestows a gift to an employee, client or service provider, but there is a line between gift giving and bribery. Baoying Qi says she was simply displaying Chinese business customs when she “donated” $200 to a building inspector. Officials revoked her business license at the time, but it wasn’t long before she was fighting for it back by defending the century-old Chinese tradition. The licensing board considered the underlying facts and once again, unanimously agreed the explanation of cultural differences is not credible.
2. There are two problems with this situation. Either Ms. Qi is a liar or she really does believe in the old Chinese tradition. Either way there are several ethical issues. The Chinese may have their traditions when it comes to business, but so does America. When a gift is given with the expectation of receiving something in return, the gift ceases to be a gift and it is considered payment. It is unethical to pay someone to not do their job to the best of their abilities and knowledge just because it helps you. If this was a reality then there would be no trust between employers and employees.
3. I believe that Ms. Qi should familiarize herself with the way we do things here in America. It may not be the best system, but the rules are there for a reason. With this type of business structure, individuals are able to thrive if they put in the necessary work. If we allow unethical business practices such as bribery, then no one has to work for their success. Every problem can’t be solved by throwing money at it. Gift giving is fine, but there is a fine line between gifts and bribes. It would do us all good to recognize that line.