Criminal (Commercial) Matters

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The “Rio 4” have now been formally charged over alleged “commercial bribery and trade secrets infringement” (but not as spies stealing state secrets – NY Times), but that is not the only bribery story.

Another case involves CNOOC and Control Components Inc. (CCI) of the US (CNOOC Rejects U.S Bribery Reports). CCI, while denying the China claims, did admit that ‘”from 2003 through 2007,” it made approximately 236 payments in violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Travel Act in more than 30 countries’.

These stories are (yet more) timely reminders that bribery is illegal in China, and elsewhere – and that the FCPA has very long arms.

As Dan Harris at China Law Blog recently reminded us “China’s Business Laws. Ignore Them At Your Peril”.

But if you do get in trouble, Dan has more advice…”Got A China Criminal Matter. I’ll Get Barack…” (We thought a call to Dan might be more useful…).

Best to ensure processes (and training) are in place, and to independently monitor and audit activities (no self-policing by the local management, Chinese or foreign, please). In our experience, interesting (and frightening) things are often found…

Be good. And Good luck.

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