Chinese authorities have accused a foreign executive with British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline of ordering his subordinates to bribe Chinese doctors in order to boost the company’s drug sales in China.
China’s government will now prosecute Mark Reilly, the foreign executive for GSK for bribery. For the Chinese government to go after a non-ethnic Chinese foreign executive is unprecedented and in this case, the executive in question - Mark Reilly - returned to China from his home in the UK to assist with the police investigation.
According to Jim McGregor, author of "One Billion Customers," Chinese leader Xi Jinping is doing his best to show his country that the Party will root out corruption. Part of that strategy, says McGregor, is to go after foreign companies.
“When China has troubles and they want to clean up an industry or stop certain practices, they’ll usually go after the foreign companies because they’re not connected politically like a state-owned company who is connected to all kinds of people and it’s very complicated to go after them because you affect a whole network of people, so foreign companies are more of a free-fire zone,” says McGregor.
The move has long-time China hands like McGregor asking: If China's government plans to charge GSK with giving millions of dollars' worth of bribes in China, what does it plan to do about the Chinese officials and doctors who were allegedly on the other side of the bribes?
World's Fairs still exist, but just two cities bid to host the 2017 Expo. In contrast, seven U.S. cities are vying for the 2024 Olympics, and the games just signed a $7.75 billion deal with NBC.
Minors can't buy cigarettes in the U.S., but they can farm tobacco. A new Human Rights Watch report says the practice is hazardous; cigarette makers say there are some safe roles for kids on farms.
A Cleveland catalog company says jumps in insurance costs may force it to stop offering a group health plan to its 700 workers. But first, the firm is pushing for healthier habits among employees.
China's fast-growing armed forces face increased scrutiny over how they are spending what is now the world's second-largest military budget.
In a city notorious for its murder rate, more than 90 percent of victims are black. To help break the cycle, police are testing a new approach: trying to win the hearts and minds of middle-schoolers.
Here's what I want to know: When did it become August and I missed it?
I mean, yes, there've been a few things happening business- and economy-wise since Monday, but honestly, it's been kind of slow. Sitting here early in May, you'd just think there'd be... more, you know?
So with that, a couple of themes and/or trends I've got my eye on:
- I know I say this on the air all the time, but I'm constantly amazed by how enduring the effects of the financial crisis are. To wit, the announcement Tuesday by Mel Watt, the head of the FHFA, that he's going to make sure there's still plenty of liquidity – money – in the mortgage system. We'll see whether that's a smart idea or not, but it's yet another sign it ain't over yet. See also: Geithner, Tim and his new book, about which you heard... well... elsewhere on public radio.
- Bigger really is better. The Wall Street Journal's been all over this, but apparently AT&T wants to buy DirecTV for $50 billion, in part to keep pace with the Comcast/Time Warner Cable deal. Roll that in with the still-burbling Pfizer/Astra Zeneca talks over in London – at $106 billion, if you can believe that – and I think it spells M&A boom.
- Pay no attention to the stock market. That is all.
Special bonus thing: Last week I was talking about going out in Jim Fallows' plane for another installment of the project we've got going with him – American Futures. He flies a Cirrus SR-22, for reasons that'll become clear in about three sentences. Anyway, Jim came and picked me up in Birmingham, Alabama, and flew us back over to Columbus, Mississippi. Nice easy flight, if a little bumpy. But that's not what I wanted to mention. Two days after I got back to Los Angeles, Jim posted this on his blog at the Atlantic. Crazy, huh?
The radio story – about Columbus, Mississippi, and what we found there (not about planes parachuting safely to earth) is set to air next week.