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Siemens faces corruption probe in China

German electronics giant Siemens AG is facing a probe into the role played by its Chinese medical technology unit in a corruption case at a hospital in the Chinese province of Jilin, a company spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

This followed a report in German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung that a Siemens employee had been arrested and questioned by police as part of an inquiry into corruption at the hospital. The Chinese-born Siemens employee had since been released. However, the Siemens spokesman declined to provide any details surrounding the case, which came in the wake a major scandal at the company. This includes allegations that some Siemens’ executives had been paid kickbacks to secure overseas contracts to help the company’s push into global markets.

Siemens has estimated that this could involve payments totaling about €420 million ($573.12 million). The Siemens’ case in China follows a renewed push by Beijing to crackdown on corruption. Sueddeutsche Zeitung quoted Richard Hausmann, head of Siemens’ operations in China, as saying that there had been “unacceptable behavior” and “inappropriate business activities” in China. Following an internal company investigation of Siemens’ operations in China, Hausmann said 20 employees had been dismissed over the past twelve months. (m&