The Chinese Government Has A Nicotine Problem

April 22, 2015 in Daily Bulletin

The largest cigarette maker in the world is a company owned by the Chinese government wrote Andrew Martin:

  • One third of all the cigarettes smoked in the world are smoked in China.
  • The China National Tobacco Corp made 2.2 trillion cigarettes in 2013 – more than the next five biggest competitors combined.
  • The company directly employs half a million people at surprisingly high wages.
  • Another 19 million people benefit indirectly, by, for example, farming the tobacco for the cigarettes.
  • The company is fond of sponsoring elementary schools, informing children that tobacco can help them succeed.
  • The regulator responsible for overseeing the industry is so intertwined with the cigarette company itself that it shares the same headquarters, organizational structure, website, and even chief executive.
  • In fact the regulators hand out packs of China National Tobacco Corp cigarettes at formal events.
  • All this generated $170 billion in revenue in 2012 – more than Apple. 7% of the Chinese government’s budget is dependent on the tobacco industry.

Read about the American who helped kick start the growth of the tobacco industry in China, why international brands have such a tough time competing in China, and more details here.

Source: Bloomberg

Via: Marginal Revolution