Corporate Social Responsibility in Contemporary China

Corporate Social Responsibility in Contemporary China

Corporations, Globalisation and the Law series

Jingchen Zhao

China’s recent economic transformation and integration into the world economy has coincided with increasing pressure for corporate law reform to make corporate social responsibility (CSR) integral to business and management strategy in China. This timely book critically analyses contemporary notions of CSR in China, discussing theory and practice alongside legal responses in this emerging field.

Chapter 6: Promoting more socially responsible corporations through corporate governance and a regulatory framework in China

Jingchen Zhao

Subjects: asian studies, asian law, business and management, corporate social responsibility, law - academic, asian law, corporate law and governance


Mirroring the rapid growth in the Chinese economy, there is an emerging consensus among many leading companies that stakeholdersí interests should be protected at least to a certain extent in order to avoid bad publicity and gain a competitive position against their Western counterparts. Following the discussions in the previous chapters on corporate governance and related regulatory responses to corporate social governance (CSR) in corporate law, corporate governance codes, employment law and other regulatory instruments in China, it is clear that the defects and inefficiencies in the Chinese legal system and corporate governance model hinder the effective enforcement of relevant laws. Despite the fact that Chinese companies, especially state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and export-oriented companies, are aware of the growing concerns with respect to CSR, and that the Chinese government has been incorporating CSR standards into the legal system, problems still exist. Occupational accidents, industrial pollution and food poisoning incidents remain common. It is becoming increasingly important to answer the question as to how CSR and stakeholder protection should be dealt with in business practice for the proper management and further development of companies in China through corporate governance model reconstruction and corporate law reform, with developments in other legislative instruments. Looking back to the definition of CSR itself, one of the first attempts to define CSR suggested that CSR involved a ërelative shift from government to companies as the source of social improvement and the means to promote specific items of social welfareí.

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