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JPMorgan’s Hiring of Children of Chinese Officials Under Scrutiny
On Saturday, several media houses, with New York Times being the first, reported that federal authorities have opened an investigation to find out the extent of bribery, if any, practiced by JPMorgan to win contracts and business in China. Specifically, the investigation seems to be revolving around the hiring of the children of powerful Chinese officials.
At least one instance under scrutiny involves JPMorgan winning multiple lucrative assignments from a Chinese conglomerate after hiring the son of the Chairman of the group. The Chairman of the China Everbright Group, Tang Shuangning is a former Chinese banking regulator with deep connections into Beijing’s financial and government circles.
There’s another case of the Hong Kong office of the bank hiring the daughter of a Chinese railway official who was later detained on accusations of giving government contracts in exchange of cash bribes. In this case, JPMorgan had made a bid to advice the China Railway Group to become a public company. The Hong Kong office happened to hire the daughter of the influential officer in the China Railway Group by coincidence at the time; then JPMorgan won the contract and eventually helped China Railway raise more than billion when going public.
JPMorgan has not been accused of any wrongdoing because the hiring documents and public records in these matters do not spell out that the concerned persons were hired because of their influential dads. They also do not show that the concerned employees were unqualified for the positions to which they were recruited.
However, according to media reports, US authorities seem to suspect that JPMorgan routinely hires young associates from Chinese families who are well connected enough to bring business to the bank.
Currently, both the concerned employees have left JPMorgan and are unavailable for comment.