Shanghaiist once recalls accompanying a friend to the hospital and asking the doctor, just out of curiosity, how one gets Prozac or other antidepressants in China. Despite our strivings, it’s hard sometimes to remain optimistic about China’s future, especially when you read articles like this one from MacLean’s about all the problems that China’s economy faces. Many people are particularly interested in China’s oft-troubled banking industry, especially because later this month China Construction Bank will IPO in Hong Kong.
Shanghaiist doesn’t know much about banking. In fact, we are quite confused why so many people in this world would be so captivated by something so boring. But what do we know? Certainly less than this guy, because he writes for the Far East Economic Review about China’s banking sales. His analysis, in our humble opinion, seems fairly balanced and sober. This latest IPO is going to be the biggest in Hong Kong in four years, and involves a lot of high profile foreign investors.
Shanghaiist finds articles like this one (in Chinese) much more intriguing. This article tells about how some guy whose job was to supply oil to a Wuhan oil refinery was actually selling them oil mixed with large parts water — and not just any water, but water from the Yangtze River, which as we all know, is brilliant because the water is the same color as the oil. He did this in cahoots with people from the refinery. What they did was divide the shipment on the boat into two sections, one of which was filled with real oil and the other with river water mixed with oil. The people doing the inspections would just inspect the real oil, and after passing this test, the switch would be made. Seven people from the refinery were being bribed to the tune of about 1.6 million yuan to rip off their own company. This is peanuts compared to what the Wuhan authorities calculate the economic loss to the country as being: on the level of 100 million yuan.
These are among the reasons that Shanghaiist was interested in knowing where and how to get antidepressants in China, but after reading that last article and thinking back on the milk-powder incident, we’re not so sure we’d want to buy the stuff if it was made in China. We don’t mind a placebo, but please, please, please, for the love of God, nothing from the Yangtze.