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There have been disputes about the use of the term for some decades, particularly in the legal and banking sectors. The term can be seen both as culturally insensitive, and an inappropriate reflection on Chinese culture and trade, which is now extensively integrated into the global market.
In Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. v. Superior Court (1988), Presiding Justice Harry W. Low, a Chinese American, wrote a concurring opinion specifically in order “to express my profound objection to the use of this phrase in this context”. He called the term a “piece of legal flotsam which should be emphatically abandoned”, and suggested “ethics wall” as a more suitable alternative. He maintained that the “continued use of the term would be insensitive to the ethnic identity of the many persons of Chinese descent”.