Commercial bribery cases involving multinational companies are on the rise,
but there are no effective laws to curb the trend, a report has warned.
More than 60 per cent of the 500,000 cases of commercial bribery investigated
in the country in the past decade involved international trade and foreign
businessmen, and the number is rising, reported the Democracy & Law Times
A series of alleged bribery cases involving multi-national companies have
shocked the country and sparked widespread concern.
IBM was widely reported to be connected with the recent fall of Zhang Enzhao,
former president of the China Construction Bank.
Zhang was sentenced to 15 years in prison last month by Beijing No 1
Intermediate People's Court for accepting more than 4 million yuan (US$506,000)
The company at one stage deposited a US$225,000 "service fee" into the
account of Zou Jianhua, chairman of Hong Kong Hengchuang Technology, through
whom the company got to meet Zhang under unusual circumstances, the report
quoted the court verdict as saying.
The company declined to comment, saying it did not have access to the court
Commercial bribery first hit the headlines when a Tianjin-based subsidiary of
Diagnostic Products Co Ltd, one of the world's largest diagnostic products
manufacturers, was fined US$ 4.8 million by the US Department of Justice for
bribing doctors in China's public hospitals to buy its medical equipment and
services in May last year.
The company was said to have bribed doctors with more than US$1.6 million
from 1991 to 2002, when it was exposed by local media.
Mei Xinyu, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and
Economic Co-operation, said the country's lack of a related law, something
standard in developed countries, has added to the rampancy of commercial
The number of commercial corruption cases in China's courts rose steeply to
5,662 in the first nine months despite harsher penalties, according to a recent
report by the Supreme People's Court.
Xiong Xuanguo, vice-president of the court, said courts at all levels dealt
with 5,429 commercial bribery cases involving civil servants during the first
three quarters, up 10.43 per cent year-on-year.
Wang Zhenchuan, deputy procurator-general with the Supreme People's
Procuratorate, said prosecutors investigated more than 9,000 commercial
corruption cases during the first nine months. The cases mainly occurred in the
fields of construction, land acquisition, ownership transfers of State-owned
enterprises, government procurement, medicine and medical appliances trade,
banking and securities and futures.
He Yong, deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Discipline
Inspection Commission and head of a national anti-bribery leading group, last
month vowed to tackle another batch of serious commercial bribery cases
nationwide to stop the trend.
(China Daily 12/05/2006 page2)