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Investigators Find Little Evidence of Corruption With Walmart in China

Images of Walmart Stores in BeijingImages of Walmart Stores in Beijing
A Walmart supercenter in BeijingPhotograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. prosecutors investigating allegations of bribery by Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) across the globe have found little evidence of corrupt practices in China, Bloomberg reported.

Investigators interviewing former executives and others associated with the company’s Chinese operations over the past few months have been hindered by Chinese laws that prevent disclosure of certain information outside the country, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Prosecutors may choose to bring only civil penalties imposed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rather than criminal charges, the report said.

The U.S. Department of Justice has been conducting a years-long investigation into potential misconduct by Walmart in some overseas markets, including China, Brazil, India, and Mexico.

The probe found few major offenses in Mexico, but has unearthed evidence of possible misconduct in Brazil, the Wall Street Journal reported in November.


The investigation could be completed by the end of the year, Bloomberg said.

Walmart spokesman Greg Hitt said in a statement emailed to Reuters that the company was fully cooperating with the government but could not comment further on the process.