An interesting conversation between my wife and my recently fired nanny provided an anecdotal insight into the depths of ethics, and the value of ethics, in China.
Wife: “so why did your son left his last job?”
Nanny “the company is a mess, my son managed quality inspection for car parts and his manager just want him to keep one eye open one eye closed, so they can meet production quota. My son feels that if he let the bad parts pass, it is very irresponsible act because that could cause danger to others.”
Wife: Impressed by her son’s sense of integrity “good for him, he should do what he believe is right!”
Nanny: “lately he has been researching and he think he would like to go into third party auditing!”
Wife: “that’s great, is it because this way he can stay objective and make sure things are safe before anything can go into the market?” me thinking China really needs more people like this…..there is hope for the post 80s after all!
Nanny: looked confused and tries to clarify “no, you know if you are in those jobs, people will have to give you a lot of under the table money before you would give them an inspection passing chop!”
To be clear, this (former) nanny was born and raised in Shanghai, and this conversation confirmed yet again that not only is there more work to do ingrain ethical standards on the street level, the 3rd party audit industry is still clearly one that itself could use some shoring up.