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US: UTStarcom pays $3m for China bribery

Date: 2 Jan 2010

photo of cash

US telecoms company UTStarcom has been fined $3m for a longstanding approach to winning business in China that involved bribing officials with cash, holidays in locations such as Hawaii disguised as training, and other gifts.

The company paid around $7m in bribes, according to the Justice Department. The company has not been prosecuted under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for reasons currently undisclosed.

The company has said that it takes responsibility for its actions.

The case is the latest in a series, reflecting the reality of widespread corruption in China. Tens of thousands of Chinese officials are arrested for taking bribes each year, and foreign companies seeking access to the country's growing economy have huge incentives to play along, and take the consequences if caught.

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