SEOUL, Aug. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — Leading South Korean companies’ entertainment expenses sank nearly 13 percent in 2018 on a draconian anti-graft law that came into effect two years earlier, government data showed Wednesday.
A total of 7,402 companies spent a combined 3.16 trillion won (US$2.66 billion) in 2018, down 12.7 percent from 2016, according to the data provided to an opposition lawmaker by the National Tax Service.
The figure covered businesses that ranked among the country’s top 1 percent by revenue and disclosed their entertainment expenditures separately.
Per company entertainment expenses averaged 430 million won in 2018, down a whopping 23.9 percent from two years earlier.
Overall entertainment expenses by some 700,000 corporations that filed corporate tax returns totaled 10.7 trillion won in 2018, down 1.7 percent from 2018.
A government official attributed the drop in corporate entertainment expenses to the implementation of the anti-corruption law.
The law, which took effect in September 2016, bans public servants, educators and journalists from receiving free meals valued over 30,000 won, gifts worth more than 50,000 won and congratulatory or condolence money of more than 100,000 won.
Violators could face a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of up to 30 million won. The act, which aims to root out corruption and irregularities in South Korean society, affects 4 million people.