Avon Products Inc., the world’s largest door-to-door seller of cosmetics, will pay US$135 million to settle a six-year bribery probe in the United States. But although the case took place in China, the company might not face any punishment here, Daily Business News reported.
Chinese authorities largely focus on cracking down on bribe takers but have lax regulations on companies paying bribes, the report said, quoting Yuan Qilin, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law.
It’s not unusual for multinational companies to pay bribes in China to expand their presence in the world’s most populous market. A number of big foreign firms have been accused of involvement in bribery cases in China, the report said.
In some cases, firms would disguise bribe money as ordinary expenses such conference, consultancy or advertising costs. It’s very difficult for the police to obtain evidence.
Some multinational companies are said to set aside up to 5 percent of their annual exports to developing nations, equivalent to US$50-80 billion, for bribing local officials, according to data from the World Bank.
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