World News‎ > ‎

China Says GSK Execs Confess To Economic Crimes

posted 11 Jul 2013, 06:31 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 11 Jul 2013, 06:31 ]

China's security ministry says executives of GlaxoSmithKline Plc in China have confessed to charges of bribery and tax-related violations.

 BEIJINGCHINA (JULY 11, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Executives of GlaxoSmithKline Plc in China have confessed to charges of bribery and tax law violations, the country's security ministry said on Thursday (July 11), in one of the most prominent graft cases involving a foreign company in three years.

The statement posted on the website of China's Ministry of Public Security on Thursday said that bribes were offered to Chinese government officials, medical associations, hospitals and doctors to boost sales and prices.

GSK executives also used fake receipts in unspecified tax law violations, it added.

The statement did not give details on the number of GSK executives questioned, their identities or when the questioning took place.

In response to the ministry's charges, GSK said it is willing to cooperate with the authorities.

Under China's legal system, the GSK executives will be formally charged after the completion of the preliminary investigations.

China in recent months has targeted foreign firms on multiple fronts including alleged price-fixing, quality controls and consumer rights, forcing companies to defend their reputations in a country where international brands often have a valuable edge over local competitors in terms of public trust.

China is an increasingly important market for international pharmaceutical companies, which are relying on growth in emerging markets to offset slower sales in Western markets where many former blockbuster drugs have lost patent protection.