Two More AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) Employees Questioned In China As GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) Bribery Scandal Unfolds

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AstraZeneca
Chinese police have questioned two more AstraZeneca PLC employees in Shanghai.

Chinese police have questioned two more AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE:AZN) employees in Shanghai, after a sales representative was detained for questioning earlier, according to the UK Telegraph.

The two individuals are line managers of the sales representative who was detained on Friday and has since been released.

AstraZeneca is the latest in a string of multinationals to be targeted by Chinese authorities over alleged corruption, price-fixing and quality controls.

China has accused AstraZeneca’s major rival GlaxoSmithKline PLC (NYSE:GSK) of bribing officials and doctors to boost sales and raise the price of its medicines. Britain’s drug giant GSK admitted on Monday that some of its executives in China appear to have violated Chinese law.

"Certain senior executives of GSK China who know our systems well, appear to have acted outside of our processes and controls which breaches Chinese law," Abbas Hussain, GSK's international president, said in a statement.

Chinese authorities said GSK transferred up to 3 billion yuan ($489 million) to 700 travel agencies and consultancies over six years to facilitate the bribes. GSK has said it was deeply concerned by the allegations, which it called "shameful."

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