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China Indicts GlaxoSmithKline Investigators


Prosecutors in Shanghai have charged a British detective and his American wife with illegally buying and selling personal information about Chinese citizens. They were working for a company that was already under scrutiny from China's government. NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports.

ANTHONY KUHN, BYLINE: Last year, someone inside British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline alleged that the company's China office was bribing Chinese doctors and hospitals to use their medicines. GSK wanted to know who the whistleblower was, so they hired Shanghai-based investigator Peter Humphrey and his wife, Yu Yingzeng, to investigate. The two are charged with illegally obtaining phone logs, travel records and other data which they then put in a report to GSK. In an interview in jail, Humphrey told Chinese state media that he wasn't shown the actual allegations until after the investigation, and he believed them to true.

PETER HUMPHREY: (Chinese spoken).

KUHN: If I had been shown the content of the allegations as I had requested, he said, I would have refused to investigate. Chinese authorities have not linked the charges against Mr. Humphrey to their ongoing investigation into GSK. Anthony Kuhn, NPR News, Beijing. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Frank Langfitt is NPR's London correspondent. He covers the UK and Ireland, as well as stories elsewhere in Europe.
Anthony Kuhn is NPR's correspondent based in Seoul, South Korea, reporting on the Korean Peninsula, Japan, and the great diversity of Asia's countries and cultures. Before moving to Seoul in 2018, he traveled to the region to cover major stories including the North Korean nuclear crisis and the Fukushima earthquake and nuclear disaster.