Here is an additional clip of China MediaExpresses’ headquarters. It is difficult to imagine a less substantive example of a company whose reported revenues for the nine months ending September 30 more than doubled.
Then again, it pays to recall that the entire premise of China MediaExpress is built on accounting fraud.
As a piece of filmmaking, it is not without flaw. It fails to capture just how many people were Instant Messaging, sound asleep or otherwise goofing off. To be fair, it does give a sense of the complete absence of what may be broadly categorized as “Office work”; No one so much as touched a desk phone during a visit and no computer that we observed had anything other than personal websites up. But it does show the chief financial officer’s office for what it was: a glorified storage space without a single book on the shelf. And of course, the vaunted production unit’s card game was captured.
Personally, the video does a fair rendition of what touring China’s endless archipelago of reverse merger companies is like. The long periods of waiting in conference rooms whose centerpiece is a certificate of appreciation from some reverse-merger underwriting factory investment bank like Roth Capital Partners or Rodman Renshaw, followed by a tour led by some unwitting young woman of an enterprise that differs mightily in size and profitability from what investors and the SEC are being told.
At the time of the report’s release, several commenter’s acidly observed that in China midday rest periods are often tolerated. To which the Financial Investigator replies, “Perhaps, but multi-hour card games that are continued in front of Western investors and journalists? Not likely.”
Still, it seems harsh to pin too much blame on China MediaExpresses’ rank-and-file employees. Though its executives clearly spent their nearly every waking hour trying to trick people into putting money into this capital-absorbing vortex, its workers had nothing to do and nowhere else to go. Pretending to work, after all, takes time and effort.