Gauche Graft: Official Corruption And Conspicuous Consumption

Chinese wealth
It's the political season in China, with the dual National People's Congress (NPC) and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) swinging into annual two-week sessions. The period is normally a huge gift-giving event and a tremendous boon to the luxury goods industry. Businesspeople hoping to curry favor with officials shower them with preposterous presents, from overpriced cigarettes to "Gucci handbags, Hermès scarves, Montblanc pens and $30,000 diamond-studded Swiss watches" so ostentatious they would make Kim Kardashian blush, as New York Times reported a few years back.