If you don't bribe, you can't be successful in China. The word Hong Bao, which means red envelope, is a technique used in low-level bribery. In this case, you simply hand a red envelope full of money to the person you're trying to bribe.
Naturalized Americans who have parents in China, rush to China to hand the doctor a Hong Bao, to make sure a sick parent will receive adequate medical attention.
Glaxo Smith Kline, which has been charged with large-scale bribery, has never been known as a company with integrity. They used travel agencies to funnel money to doctors and officials. However, any company trying to compete in China realizes bribery is a way of life. Former premier Wen Jia Bao's family accumulated $2.2 billion during the 10 years he was premier. Favors were done and fortunes were made.
American newspapers intimate that China itself wants to develop a homegrown pharmaceutical industry. The intense amount of hacking at American universities noted for research is part of putting together such an industry.
Ever since the death of Mao the amount of bribery has gone up and the acceptance of it among officials is widespread. That's why the story of GSK is so funny. It's impossible to imagine a China without rampant bribery.