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

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora