中資企業造假醜聞！企業誠信亮紅燈Chinese manufacturers-The end of cheap goods?
有人認為，會爆出假帳醜聞，起因於美、加等國的上市法規有漏洞，讓人有機可乘。最明顯的例 子，就是中國企業透過「反向收購」（即借殼上市）到北美等市場掛牌。這種做法的成本較低，又可規避一般新股上市（ＩＰＯ）必須接受的嚴格審查，才會在後來 爆發帳目不實的弊端。其實，借殼上市一度也在香港盛行。但香港政府修改了遊戲規則，規定申請上市的企業必須有連續三年獲利紀錄，還得通過聯交所上市委員會 的審查，有效遏阻了借殼風。
只是弊端仍舊免不了。例如，查核中資企業，要靠香港和內地的會計師事務所。但他們在處理資產「按市值計價」 時，往往遇上困難。因為很多資產都是房地產，而中國的房市不是資訊不夠透明，就是價格被地方政府操控。最近就有幾家香港上市的中資企業，被媒體盯上。例如 三月底，香港《壹週刊》爆料，蔬果生產商「超大現代」疑似誇大農地面積等數據。消息傳開後，公司股價大跌近三分之一。許多人已經推測，將來還會有更多的會 計醜聞出現。
From The Economist
Published: June 17, 2011
"IT IS the end of cheap goods," says Bruce Rockowitz. He is the chief executive of Li & Fung, a company that sources more clothes and common household products from Asia than perhaps any other. In the low-tech areas in which Li & Fung specialises, the firm handles an estimated 4% of China's exports to America and a sizeable chunk of its exports to Europe, too. It has operations in several East Asian countries, where it diligently searches for cheap, reliable suppliers of everything from handbags to bar stools. So when Mr Rockowitz says the era of low-cost Asian production is drawing to a close, people listen.
He argues that Asian manufacturing has gone through a number of phases, each lasting about 30 years. When China was isolated under Mao Zedong, companies in Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea grew expert at making things. When China reopened in the late 1970s, after Mao's death, these experienced Asian operators converged on southern China. With almost free access to land and labour, plus an efficient port and logistics hub in nearby Hong Kong, they started to make things ever more cheaply and sell them to the whole world.
For the next 30 years manufacturers in China helped to keep global inflation in check. But that era is now over, says Mr Rockowitz. Chinese wages are rising fast. A wave of new demand, especially from China itself, is feeding a surge in commodity prices. Manufacturers can find some relief by moving production to new areas, such as western China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Malaysia, India and Indonesia. But none of these new places will curb inflation the way southern China once did, he predicts. All rely on the same increasingly expensive pool of commodities. Many have rising wages or poor logistics. None can provide the scale and efficiency that was created when manufacturers converged on southern China.
Nothing can replace the Chinese miracle. "There is no next," says Mr Rockowitz. Prices will now start to rise by 5% or more each year, with no end in sight. And that may be optimistic. So far this year, Mr Rockowitz says, Li & Fung's sourcing operation has seen price increases of 15% on average. Other sourcers of Asian toys, clothes and basic household products tell similarly ominous tales.
Yet manufacturers in some other fields see things differently. On May 31st, the day Mr Rockowitz spoke in Hong Kong, the annual Computex fair opened an hour's flight away in Taipei. Hotels were packed, even at inflated prices. The world's hottest technology companies, such as Apple and even Taiwan's HTC, were absent. But nearly 2,000 vendors showed up to hawk cheap and innovative gizmos.
Mainland Chinese firms arrived in force: more than 500 hired booths, up from 200 last year. Many are from the same parts of China that were once noted for cheap textiles and toys. With government encouragement, the belt that stretches from Shenzhen to Guangzhou has been shifting to more sophisticated products, such as electronics.
Some of the more striking offerings at the fair were ultra-cheap versions of global hits. A company named BananaU advertised tablet computers with Google's Android operating system for $100. Another pushed Windows-based thin computers looking much like MacBooks for under $250. E-Readers were everywhere and available for a song.
Whether these products can be produced or sold in developed markets is unclear. The quality may be "B" for Banana rather than "A" for Apple. The intellectual property embedded in some devices may not, ahem, have been paid for. But still, the booths were packed. Buyers goggled and haggled over motherboards, memory chips, solid-state drives, servers, graphics cards, non-tangling cables, connectors, monitors and so on.
In 2009 the prices of these electronic goods jumped suddenly, as buyers emerged from the financial crisis and started ordering more equipment from manufacturers which had slashed capacity. But data collected in Taiwan suggest that prices are now falling sharply again (see chart). If the vendors at Computex had a common slogan, it would be "more for less".
Among the products that generated the most heat were those that saved energy. These included alternating- and direct-current converters, and sensors that could moderate the power consumption of streetlamps, fridges and air conditioners. Such devices were initially marketed for their "green potential", but what buyers liked was their ability to enhance productivity. Japanese firms, which have had to make do with less power since the earthquake, were particularly eager.
Chinese firms were curious about any product that lowered costs or made it easier to automate. When labour was cheap, Chinese firms used it inefficiently. Now they are learning how to get more from fewer hands. Li & Fung may be sounding the closing bell on one era of production, but the Taipei computer fair suggests that another is emerging.