Chinese e-commerce company JD.com has dismissed 16 of its employees on corruption cases. Four of them have been detained by police, the company announced on August 24.
The exercise was part of the company’s efforts to build “a clean JD”, the announcement said.
Ren Bing, the manager of JD’s delivery sector and the highest ranking employee among the four detained, has been accused of receiving bribes and gifts from carriers.
Huang Chuan from JD's logistics unit and Yan Feng from the company’s financial division have been terminated and arrested for allegedly gaining illegal profits and accepting bribes from suppliers.
Yan Jiayi, an accounts department staffer, has been dismissed and accused of misappropriation of company assets. He has been charged with “duty encroachment”, according to the Criminal Law.
JD had signed anti-corruption agreements with all its partners before the disclosure. It also distributed anti-corruption guidelines and provided clear mechanisms for reporting problems.
JD declared that it sticks to “zero tolerance” towards corruption and would expose anyone indulging in malpractices. It said that depending on the seriousness of the charge, the company would either hand over the accused to the police or just dismiss them if the charges are not very serious.
In the past too JD has been rocked by corruption cases. The most infamous of these occurred in December 2012 when acting on an anonymous tip-off, the company’s surveillance team investigated an IT manager Zhou and unearthed a staggering CNY 3 million (USD 438,000) corruption case. Zhou was found guilty of receiving illegal kickbacks from a supplier and sentenced to five years and five months in jail.
Due to the lack of effective surveillance mechanisms, China’s corporate houses fail to cash in on the central government’s anti-corruption campaign.
As a result, employees regularly misuse their position to cheat and extract money from customers and suppliers, and ruin their own companies.
In September 2016, Chinese tech giant Baidu revealed 17 serious internal disciplinary cases to the public, most of which were related to corruption.
Several ventures, therefore, encourage anti-corruption moves and JD.com is part of the trend. In 2011, Alibaba B2B, the business-to-business division of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, announced that it had cleaned up more than 1,000 suppliers who were suspected of embezzlement. The next year, the company initiated its anti-corruption project.
Last year, Baidu, JD.com, Meituan-Dianping, Tencent, and other large corporations co-established the Trust and Integrity Enterprise Alliance to build an improved anti-corruption system.