China, over many generations, has believed deeply in the pragmatic virtues of "fragrant grease". The bribe facilitates all.
When Taiwanese visit the mainland they often report about the role of the bribe in mainland China.
They noted that mainlanders are not conscientious in their work, that officials live well and demand bribes from the poor, that anything including admission to schools may be had for a bribe, and that "lack of sincerity", cheating, and extortion are prevalent. They noted that "many long-haired jobless youth loiter about, and some rob people" and that there has been a general decline in traditional Chinese virtues. It takes no special sophistication for a traveler to see that everything is for sale, from immunity for one's self to the ruin of one's enemies. [Angelo M. Codevilla, The Character of Nations: How Politics Makes and Breaks Prosperity, Family and Civility (New York: Basic Books, 1997), p.143.]Let anyone doing business in China beware. It's not just that the payment of fragrant grease is expected by local officials in order for them to facilitate and permit one's company to operate. It's also the reality that one's "enemies"--commercial competitors--can bribe in the opposite direction, leading not just to one's own commercial loss, but to one's company managers and directors being hauled into prison.