Society

Wall Street Journal Accused of Bribing Chinese Officials

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
WSJ issuing bribes in China?WSJ issuing bribes in China?

The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the Wall Street Journal’s China bureau over allegation it bribed Chinese officials using "lavish entertainment and travel" in exchange for information for news articles. Such gifts violate the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The WSJ reported Sunday that the American government was looking into charges brought forward by an informant who claimed to have knowledge of these alleged gifts. WSJ added, "It isn't clear if the Justice Department considers the matter resolved or still open." 

The DoJ asked Dow Jones to investigate its China operations as part of a wider probe into the 2011 phone hacking scandal surrounding Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp – parent company of the WSJ.

Dow Jones found no impropriety, but it is unclear if the DoJ is satisfied with the findings or continuing to investigate the matter.

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"After a thorough review of our operations in China conducted by outside lawyers and auditors, we have not found any evidence of impropriety at Dow Jones. Nor has anyone taken issue with our findings," Dow Jones said Sunday in a statement emailed to Reuters.

"We are extremely proud of our important and impactful coverage coming out of China and regret that some unknown source has sought to taint that work."

WSJ said they do not know the identity of the informant, but they speculated to the DoJ that it was an agent of the Chinese government upset about how they have reported on Chinese leadership and Chongqing, the power base of disgraced Politiburo member Bo Xilai.

News Corp, parent company of defunct tabloid News of the World, was just slapped with 600 new phone hacking allegations, according to The Guardian on Monday, since its hacking scandal broke in 2011.

Sources: NY Magazine, CNBC