The co-founders of a business risk advisory firm that has reportedly worked with GlaxoSmithKline have been arrested in China on suspicion of breaking laws related to purchasing personal information. British Embassy spokeswoman Hannah Oussedik confirmed Wednesday the arrest of British national Peter Humphrey on August 19, but declined to provide further details.
Humphrey along with his wife Yu Yingzeng, who jointly founded ChinaWhys, were detained in Shanghai on July 10 as authorities investigated bribery allegations against GlaxoSmithKline. Sources suggested that ChinaWhys had undertaken work with GlaxoSmithKline and other drugmakers. A statement from family members noted "we only know that Ying and Peter did investigative work on corruption within foreign companies."
In July, GlaxoSmithKline said that some of its senior executives may have violated Chinese law, after four were detained by authorities amid claims the drugmaker was involved in bribery in the country. The company is alleged to have transferred as much as 3 billion yuan ($490 million) to around 700 travel agencies and consultancies to facilitate bribes to government officials, doctors and hospitals in an effort to boost sales and increase drug prices.
For more information on sales practices in China, see Inside China’s Pharma Sales Force – insights from the frontline.
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