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Sinopec's spending draws anger

(Shanghai Daily)

09:01, October 10, 2011

China's leading oil-refining company has triggered wide public anger after one of its subsidiaries in the eastern Shandong Province spent large sums on business name cards.

Photocopies of invoices for name cards were posted on popular online forums like Mop.com and Tianya.cn on Friday, alongside allegations that China Petrochemical Corp, also known as Sinopec, spent 130,000 yuan (US$20,400) printing some 500 boxes of business cards, the Beijing Times reported yesterday.

The invoices showed the cost of each box was 275 yuan, almost 10 times the price of common name cards. Sinopec denied its spending was excessive, arguing that the price included delivery charges and expenses for samples of six different formats.

"The average price per box of name cards only cost 96 yuan," Xiao Hao, a senior officer of Sinopec, told the newspaper.

Famous card-making company Yinte'er printed name cards for Sinopec and showed original invoices to back up Sinopec's defense. Yinte'er also said it was very common boxes of name cards for middle- and high-level managers to cost 200 yuan.

But other card-making companies said 96 yuan per box far exceeded the average price.

"When I printed my name cards, I even bargain the price from 25 yuan to 20 yuan per box," a microblogger named Huyanwenyu wrote on Weibo.com. "What a shame for Sinopec!"

It was not the first time Sinopec sparked public anger over lavish spending.

In 2009, the firm spent 1.6 million yuan to buy a luxurious chandelier to decorate its office building. And last September its Guangdong branch spent 2.59 million yuan on hundreds of bottles of fine wine and liquor, including Kweichow Moutai and Chateau Lafite Rothschild.

Because the company is a state-owned monopoly, the public clearly felt the spending was over the top.

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