News / Asia

Drug Company Executives Detained in Chinese Bribery Probe

The logo of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is seen on its office building in Shanghai, China,July 12, 2013.
The logo of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is seen on its office building in Shanghai, China,July 12, 2013.
VOA News
China has detained four executives of British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline for alleged bribery as part of a series of Chinese investigations of foreign companies accused of illicit dealings in the country.

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security identified the four detained executives on Monday, saying they are Chinese nationals with senior management roles at GSK's Chinese division.

Chinese state media said last week that GSK executives were under investigation for bribing doctors, hospitals, government officials and others to boost sales and raise prices of GSK pharmaceutical products in China.

Public security ministry official Gao Feng provided details of the alleged bribery scheme in a briefing to reporters on Monday. He said Chinese police suspect the GSK managers of colluding with 700 travel agencies and other companies to channel bribes to the Chinese medical personnel and officials.

Gao said authorities were investigating transactions between GSK and its alleged co-conspirators going back to 2007, with the deals having a total value of up to half a billion dollars.

GSK's London headquarters issued a statement expressing disappointment at what it called "serious allegations of fraudulent behavior and ethical misconduct" by  employees and third parties.

GSK pledged to cooperate fully with the Chinese investigation and said it acted immediately to stop working with the Chinese travel agencies identified in the investigation so far.

Last week, the British firm said it had found "no evidence of bribery or corruption" by its staff in dealings with Chinese doctors and officials.

Chinese state television broadcast footage of police questioning one of the detained GSK executives in the south-central city of Changsha on Monday.

Authorities also allowed a state television reporter to speak to the executive, GSK China vice president and operation manager Liang Hong. He told the reporter that his company used the Shanghai Linjiang International Travel Agency to channel funds meant for "dealing with government departments." He did not explicitly admit to bribery.

In a separate report, state news agency Xinhua said it interviewed an employee of the travel agency mentioned by Liang. It said agent Weng Jianyong admitted to accepting business opportunities from GSK China in return for paying kickbacks to the GSK managers.

Xinhua quoted Weng as saying Liang used some of the kickbacks to cover the cost of bribing Chinese officials and health experts to boost GSK's own business.

China has targeted several foreign companies for investigation in recent months on suspicion of price-fixing and other violations of consumer rights.

The targeted companies include European food makers Nestle and Danone, which are under Chinese scrutiny for allegedly setting artificially high prices for infant milk formulas.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid