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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid