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Adidas investigates allegations of bribery in China

Adidas investigates allegations of bribery in China
Adidas investigates allegations of bribery in China

Adidas is currently on the rise again in China.

According to the Financial Times (“FT”), an anonymous letter allegedly written by their own employees accuses them of having accepted “millions of euros” from suppliers and advertising agencies.

A spokesman for the world’s second-largest sporting goods manufacturer confirmed on Sunday that it had received the anonymous letter, which “indicates possible violations of the code of conduct.” Adidas is investigating the matter intensively, including with the help of external lawyers. The company takes compliance allegations very seriously and is committed to adhering to laws and ethical standards in all markets.

According to the FT, the letter signed “Adidas China Employees” was also briefly visible on the Chinese social media platform “Xiaohongshu”. Several employees are named there, including a manager who is jointly responsible for Adidas’ 250 million euro marketing budget in China. The employees named had accepted kickbacks from service providers they had hired. A second high-ranking employee in another division was accused of having received “millions in cash and benefits in kind such as real estate from suppliers”. The letter did not provide any evidence for the allegations, the report said. However, its authors appeared to be well informed about internal details at Adidas.

Adidas is currently on the rise again in China. The company – like other Western textile manufacturers – had not only suffered from the consequences of the corona pandemic, but also from calls for a boycott because of Western criticism of the way it treated the Uighur minority. For the current year, Adidas is expecting double-digit growth rates again in what was once its largest and most lucrative market. The company also attributes the upturn to the fact that the China subsidiary, under the leadership of country boss Adrian Siu, who was hired in 2022, has focused more on Chinese fashion tastes.

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Source: Nachrichten

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