China Bribery Probe Targets Siemens, Philips and GE Units

Chinese regulators are investigating allegations of bribery levelled against the divisions of foreign medical device companies including Germany’s Siemens, Netherlands firm Philips and US group General Electric (GE).

The State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) and other regulators last year launched initial investigations into the companies’ Chinese health-care units on suspicion of bribing hospitals in exchange for sales, according to reports.

The new investigation is the latest reported example of overseas firms being targeted by Chinese authorities, who have launched wide-ranging probes in sectors ranging from cars to baby milk.

In 2014 a Chinese court found UK pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) had used bribery to boost sales and took kickbacks from travel agencies to organise conferences that never took place. The group was fined 3bn yuan (CNY) – equivalent to US$480m – last September after a nearly year-long bribery probe.

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