In order to participate in the bids to provide school uniforms, companies in 16 provinces and municipalities are reportedly required to mandatorily join a third-party app called YGZY. According to some local education officials this was intended to prevent corruption. However, YGZY takes 4 percent of the total value of the uniforms provided, which pushes the prices higher. Southern Metropolis Daily comments:Several local education officials said they introduced YGZY in order to prevent any corruption in the purchasing of school uniforms. However, that excuse is rather pale because it is still the schools, not the parents or pupils, that decide which school uniforms to buy. School managers and education officials still have the opportunity of making illicit money in the process.
Worse than that, YGZY takes 4 percent of the price of each uniform as their "management fee", while the average profit for school uniform producers is only 8 percent. As a result, school uniform prices are pushed higher because of the monopoly, while corruption is not prevented.
It is not exaggerating to say that YGZY is a total failure, and it never did what it claimed to do.
A closer look shows that YGZY has powerful support behind it. According to reports, one subsidiary agency of the Ministry of Education used to say YGZY "helps to prevent corruption" and it "advised" school uniform producers to use it. That "advice" was then passed on by local education officials to require school uniform producers to mandatorily use it.
In other words, YGZY that claimed to be preventing corruption is suspected of corruption. We hope disciplinary agencies will start probing it soon and the judiciary might need to investigate if necessary.
The YGZY case should also teach us a lesson, namely that the alliances between power and business can take different forms, and we need to remain vigilant.