Partner & Managing Director, Hong Kong
The Asia-Pacific region continues to see high levels of activity relating to familiar issues involving anti-corruption compliance. China has long been the focus of investigations and enforcement activity. There are several key factors that have combined to make the perfect storm for corruption in China: the importance of China for global business, China’s long-standing corruption problems, increased enforcement by regulatory authorities and, in recent years, China’s slowing growth. While China continues to see a large number of cases, the volume of investigations elsewhere in Asia-Pacific is also significant. Increasingly, operations in Southeast Asia and India are attracting attention. It is no secret that China has been a priority market for multinationals and global private equity firms for many years, but the China market may be in danger of losing its luster. Coming in various waves over the past two decades, foreign investment helped drive China’s dramatic economic development, and at times China has even rivaled the United States as the world’s top foreign direct investment destination. With the sheer volume of foreign investment, China’s chronic corruption problems have resulted in continuous, significant exposure as multinationals have entered and tried to navigate the Chinese market.