A crackdown on corruption in China is a positive development that should be welcomed by companies doing business there, a senior U.N. anti-crime official said Thursday.
Some foreign firms in China are increasingly nervous about a series of corruption and anti-monopoly investigations by Chinese authorities and are hiring lawyers to make sure their operations comply with the law.
Dimitri Vlassis, the chief of the corruption and economic-crime branch of the Vienna-based U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said corporate leaders should use the campaign against corruption as an opportunity for reform.
"The [Chinese] authorities are taking this issue very, very seriously, and they have increased their anti-corruption drive ... in visible ways in the past couple of years," Vlassis told Reuters.
Companies should welcome the development and review internal processes, Vlassis said. "It is also a matter of actually doing the right thing and engaging in competition based on a set of ethical principles, ethical behavior," he added.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who took office in March, has made fighting corruption a central theme of his administration. Corruption investigations have targeted the pharmaceutical industry, while authorities also have launched a major probe into china's leading energy company.