Date
20 September 2017
A widening investigation into a corruption scandal involving GSK is making other nationals look at their own practices. Photo: Bloomberg
A widening investigation into a corruption scandal involving GSK is making other nationals look at their own practices. Photo: Bloomberg

Multinationals scurrying for cover amid GSK probe

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the British pharmaceutical giant in the middle of a corruption scandal in China, is forcing other multinationals to speed up their own internal compliance procedures and training practices.

They’re running for cover after accusations of criminal activity against the former head of GSK’s China unit sent shock waves through the foreign business community. 

“The challenge of educating our employees [about compliance] is endless,” an executive at one large European investment group, told the Financial Times. 

Last week, Chinese police accused Mark Reilly, GSK’s former China head, and two other senior Chinese executives, Zhang Guowei and Zhao Hongyan, of authorising corrupt practices including paying off doctors and government officials.

GSK said the charges were “deeply concerning” and promised to fully co-operate with Chinese authorities.

Other companies have begun reviewing their training procedures in the wake of the new developments.

Multinationals are complaining that it is particularly difficult to find good compliance officers in China, especially as they are often poached by rivals.

Also, companies have been revamping the way they educate staff on compliance, the report said.

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