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McGraw Fellow Ben Knight Exposes Bribery in Medical Equipment Sales in China

  • By Newmark J-School Staff

McGraw Center Fellow Ben Knight has published a two-part series demonstrating how Western manufacturers such as Siemens, GE and Philips have continued to turn a blind eye to alleged bribery in the sales of key medical equipment in China, despite earlier criminal convictions and investigations by the SEC and the Dept. of Justice aimed at putting an end to the practice.

Reporting from Germany, Knight spent over a year going through Chinese procurement records and local court cases. Those records, along with whistleblower interviews, showed that many Chinese hospitals pay prices far in excess of the market for critical medical equipment such as MRI and CT scanners — money that allegedly goes to pay bribes, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

These practices continued even amidst the pandemic. The second piece also shows how Siemens — which paid $1.6 billion in 2008, one of the biggest fines in corporate history, to settle global bribery charges brought by the SEC and DOJ — has systematically overlooked red flags in its Chinese sales since, despite its pledge to reform.

The stories were published by 100Reporters, a Washington D.C. based investigative non-profit. We also co-published with the Associated Press, which ran shorter versions of the stories.

Here are the longer versions that ran on the 100Reporters site:
— Pandemic, Prosecutions Aside, Bribery Persists in Chinese Hospitals