German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG has confirmed that is being investigated by Chinese authorities for unfair competition, becoming the latest foreign drug maker to come under examination in the Asian country, Reuters reported.
Officials from China's industry and commerce regulators started an inspection at a Bayer office in August. Bayer said it was working with Chinese investigators but did not reveal any details regarding the location of the facility that was inspected or the nature of the probe. The company stated that it would take allegations seriously and would "take proper steps."
One of Bayer's responsibilities is to ensure the company's integrity across the world, so all employees at every single facility must comply with the rules put in place, Bayer said in an e-mail to Reuters. As many as 11,000 people are employed by Bayer in Greater China. The Asia Pacific is of major importance for the company, which generates up to 25 percent of its global revenue in the region.
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Chinese authorities are already looking into several other international companies in the sector suspected of corruption and unfair competition practices. British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline is another drug maker under investigation.
The investigation is being carried out by officers at China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), which is one of the three anti-trust regulators. This one specializes in commercial bribery and non-price related unfair competition behavior, Reuters explained.