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GlaxoSmithKline Seeks China Bribery Scandal Resolution After Mark Reilly and Execs Charged With Corruption Reuters

GlaxoSmithKline has released a statement responding to Chinese authorities' corruption charges against its former boss of GSK's China unit, Mark Reilly, and two other executives.

GSK said: "We take the allegations that have been raised very seriously. They are deeply concerning to us and contrary to the values of GSK."

"We want to reach a resolution that will enable the company to continue to make an important contribution to the health and welfare of China and its citizens."

GSK is Britain's largest pharmaceutical company.

China formally announced the charges against Reilly and two other executives, Zhang Guowei and Zhao Hongyan, following claims that they routed 3bn yuan ($488m, £307m, €365m) in bribes to doctors through 700 travel agencies and consultancies over six years.

A Ministry of Public Security official said: "(GSK) departments offered bribes to hospitals and doctors as well as personnel to boost their sales. The money involved was in the billions of yuan (hundreds of millions of dollars)."

In July 2013, Chinese police arrested four GSK executives in connection with the bribery allegations.

On 30 April, GSK said: "The People's Republic of China (PRC), acting through various government agencies, continues its investigation into alleged crimes and violations of law by GSK's China operations.

"The Group takes these allegations seriously and is continuing to cooperate fully with the Chinese authorities in this investigation. The Group has informed the US Department of Justice, the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) regarding the investigation and is co-operating fully with these agencies.

"It is not possible at this time to make a reliable estimate of the financial effect, if any, that could result from these matters."

GSK has also admitted that some Chinese executives appeared to have broken the law, but CEO Andrew Witty said the head office had no prior knowledge about the wrongdoing.