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With flashy pharma sweep, China steps into global enforcement role

Here's a thoughtful comment from a U.S.-based compliance professional who asked not to be named:

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I think that as China continues to march to the largest economy in the world it is going to have increasing influence in the world in many areas.

Currently and traditionally the U.S. has led the world in the fight against corruption and influenced many countries enforcement regimes. However, I think many countries (especially in Asia) are or will begin to look to China as alternative source of leadership. 

China's approach to fighting corruption, at least on GSK, is very different from the DOJ. Instead of being completely silent about who is under investigation and releasing no details until settlement, the Chinese authorities have released names of individuals detained and suspected of corruption, companies involved, the type of schemes employed, and the scope of the alleged corrupt payments.

This approach may be questionable and has its pros and cons, but whatever your view, the world is watching. It will be interesting to see if other countries adopt the "Name and Shame Model," and how companies respond.

This approach by China, I believe, has been embarrassing for GSK and has tied their hands in the type and timing of their response. It is sort of a mini version of what BP faced in the Gulf Oil Spill.

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Richard L. Cassin is the Publisher and Editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.