Adidas begins probe into its China unit after ‘large-scale bribery’ charge

German sports brand Adidas has began a probe into the large-scale bribery charge linked to its Chinese employees.
The company initiated a probe after it received a whistleblower complaint, accusing senior staff of its China unit of embezzling “millions of euros“, reported news agency Reuters citing a Financial Times report.
In an anonymous letter, which surfaced from “employees of Adidas China,” several Chinese Adidas employees, including a senior manager involved in the marketing budget were named.According to the document, the marketing budget for Adidas in China is 250 million euros ($267.5 million) annually, the FT reported.
According to the FT, the letter alleged that Adidas staff received kickbacks from external service providers who were commissioned by the company that include “millions in cash from suppliers, and physical items such as real estate”.
Soon after the reports of its probe came to the public, the company issued a statement saying, “We received an anonymous letter indicating potential compliance violations in China. Adidas is currently intensively investigating this matter together with external legal counsel”.
Company insiders quoted by the paper said the letter did not provide evidence for the allegations but appeared well-informed about confidential internal issues.
(With Reuters inputs)


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