Danone has launched an investigation into allegations it bribed hospitals to promote its baby food products in China.

According to a report by China Central Television, Danone employees paid medical staff at a hospital in Tianjin to promote Dumex products to the parents of newborn children.

The report cited a former Dumex sales representative, who alleged the company gave several hundred thousand yuan in “gifts” to the hospital every year.

CCTV also claimed to have seen a document detailing payments to doctors, with their bank details and amounts paid. The document reportedly showed staff at the hospital had received about CNY300,000 (US$49,000) in total each month from Dumex.

Responding to the accusations, Danone said it is “extremely shocked” by the report.

“We will immediately launch the investigation on it,” a spokesperson for the group told just-food.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

The spokesperson emphasised the importance the company places on compliance in the markets in which it operates. “Dumex Baby Food Co Ltd. strictly adheres to Chinese laws and regulations, including Administrative Measures for Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. We have set up strict management system, including severe punitive measures against all violation activities.”

These fresh allegations follow on the heels of an antitrust investigation by Chinese regulators that found Danone, among others, guilty of breaching competition rules in the market. Danone was found to be involved in “various forms of resale price maintenance” and the business was fined 3% of last year’s sales in China, totalling CNY172m.