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US gov't fines Qualcomm over bribery reports

Posted: 03 Mar 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:anti-bribery laws? princelings? global telecom market?

Qualcomm Inc has agreed to pay $7.5 million in charges for violating U.S. anti-bribery laws by hiring "princelings," an Asian term referring to children or younger relatives of China's political leaders or top executives at state-owned enterprises to obtain business and leverage, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Tuesday.

The SEC said Qualcomm's new hires related to Chinese officials were contemplating on whether to select the company's mobile technology products amid growing competition in the global telecom market.

The semiconductor and wireless telecommunications manufacturer could not immediately be reached for comment, and has neither confirmed nor denied the SEC's findings, although they had previously disclosed the SEC probe.

The probe also revealed that Qualcomm has provided gifts, travel and entertainment to win the good graces of officials at government-owned telecom companies in China. The SEC found that Qualcomm had insufficient internal records to detect the payments, misrepresenting them in the company's records as legitimate business expenses.

Qualcomm has since been circumspect in its employment referrals to determine if the candidates are connected with employees of state-owned entities or government to avoid potential risks of violating anti-bribery laws.

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