Vice mayor found no concrete in paving/Bamboo sheets replace steel bars/They all cutting corners

Why are there so many tofu-dreg projects in China? According to an article published in the Daily Economic News of mainland China, the author claims that he used to work in a construction administration department for years. Thus he knows some of the “dark secrets” involved in the construction industry. The construction money has to pay for materials, labor and management fees, etc.

Due to the fierce competition in the market, the profit from a construction project is tiny, and even if the entire construction fund is used for the construction, the profit is usually less than 10%. If “one-third of the project money is used for bribes”, the only way to still make a profit is to cut corners on a large scale, or purchase inferior materials, or default on labor costs.

This is only one of the reasons for the proliferation of tofu-dreg projects in China.

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Written by China Insights


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  1. I live in the Philippines, a poor country but condo units or buildings in general don't collapse like this nor the foundations can be easily broken. Those poor Chinese people paying millions of money for their unit but get shitty or substandard units. Hope that will not worsen in the future.

  2. You do know that they aren't actually called "tofu dreg", right? The Chinese use a different slur for it, so might be more prudent to refer to it with the original name.

  3. The positive side is that the weak cheap materials are not as heavy. So it won't hurt as much when it falls on you. In the USA, if we mess up and the ceiling falls in, you are 100% a pancake.

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