In China, gift-giving is very common and is a widely accepted practice. While monetary contributions to public officials are prohibited, small "incidental" gifts are normally acceptable. Incidental gifts include such item as pens, bottles of wine, dinners, and other types of relatively small gifts. Offering an official a vacation in Hawaii, on the other hand, would probably not be considered incidental. In addition, each individual Chinese agency may have its own internal rules regarding the receipt of gifts by its officials. Such internal rules may require that gifts be reported or are prohibited. However, these internal regulations would be operative only to agency officials and not to a foreign party.
The issue of improper gift-giving is addressed in the Criminal Law and predecessor regulations. Chinese government officials are required to limit their gifts to foreign guests to Chinese handicrafts or "practical objects of daily use." Under the law, Chinese officials who receive gifts in excess of RMB200 ($US23) are required to turn the gifts over to their superiors. Moreover, gifts of cash and securities are strictly prohibited. A violation of the anti-corruption laws, including laws prohibiting bribery, concealing illegal gains, tax evasion, and embezzling funds, is a capital offense and punishable by death.
With respect to the issuance of employment permits to foreign personnel, Chinese law prohibits the collection of inappropriate fees, abuse of authority in the issuing of permits, or the fraudulent issuance of permits. Such activities constitute criminal acts and are subject to imprisonment or fines.