'Shocked' unit of French milk powder producer Danone to probe China bribe allegations
SHANGHAI/PARIS (Reuters) - Danone's Dumex brand is "extremely shocked" by allegations on Chinese state television that it bribed hospital staff to give its milk powder to new-born babies and will investigate immediately, the French food group said.
China Central Television (CCTV) earlier cited an unidentified former Dumex sales manager as saying the company had paid medical staff at a city hospital in Tianjin to promote its products.
The Chinese authorities have been cracking down on graft in various industries, notably the pharmaceutical sector. They imposed a record fine in August on a number of local and foreign-owned milk powder companies, including Danone, for price fixing.
CCTV cited the former sales manager said that every year the brand would give several hundred thousand yuan in "gifts" to the hospital.