Adidas China management embroiled in corruption probe, FT reports

(Source: Reuters/Michaela Rehle)

Adidas has launched an investigation into allegations of large-scale bribery in China after the company received a whistleblower complaint that accused senior staff of embezzling “millions of euros”, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

The anonymous letter, which claims to have been written by “employees of Adidas China”, names several Chinese Adidas employees including a senior manager involved with the marketing budget in the country, which the document said stood at 250 million euros ($267.5 million) a year, the FT reported.

Adidas media officials at its headquarters in Germany did not immediately respond to request for comment on the report outside regular business hours.

According to the FT, the letter alleges that Adidas staff received kickbacks from external service providers who were commissioned by the company that include “millions in cash from suppliers, and physical items such as real estate”.

China sales of the German sportswear giant grew by 8 per cent in the first-quarter, the company reported earlier.

  • Reporting by Gursimran Kaur in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard and Miral Fahmy, of Reuters.

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