In order to receive subsidies for high standards of environmental protective measures, Chinese companies have been falsifying their data. A surprise inspection has revealed that most companies do not regularly comply by the laws, rarely even looking at pollution monitors, acting only at the last minute for scheduled inspections. These companies have been enjoying tens of millions of RMB of state subsidies and lower taxes.
Recently, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the National Development and Reform Commission issued a report stating that 19 companies had falsified pollutant data from 2013 and would be heavily fined. These companies include PetroChina and China Shenhua, two of China’s largest energy companies. This is not the first time these companies have been caught violating the law.
Under the current regulations, the cost of data fraud for these companies is low, while the benefits remain high. In order to effectively deter this type of behavior, many argue that this type of fraud needs to be punishable by more than mere fines, but also arrest, detention, and other such criminal penalties.