Evolution of international and Chinese anti-bribery and corruption compliance programs

Karen Schonfelder (First Author), Wilson Liu (Participant Author), S. Ramakrishna Velamuri (Participant Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal


Purpose The purpose of this study is to explore the regulatory framework in China and the extent to which Chinese multinationals have implemented and disclosed their anti-bribery and corruption (ABC) compliance practices. This is done against the backdrop of the evolving international ABC compliance standards. Design/methodology/approach This study is based on detailed reviews of the ABC compliance standards of international organizations; legislation passed by the USA, the UK and Chinese Governments; seven semi-structured interviews with leading experts in the field; and comparisons of ABC program disclosures of four Chinese with four best-in-class western multinational corporations. Findings A high level of convergence was found in the ABC standards published by the international organizations. Several positive features were found in the Chinese ABC regulatory frameworks but our findings indicate that there is minimal disclosure around ABC compliance program practices. This paper shows that a transparent disclosure would represent an easy win for Chinese multinational corporations and contribute to raising their reputations internationally. Research limitations/implications While there are numerous studies in the law literature on ABC compliance standards and the extent to which they are effective in achieving their objectives, this is an emergent area in management research, to which our study makes a contribution. Future research could explore how other emerging economies are tackling this important issue. Practical implications By proactively adopting ABC compliance practices, corporations can seize the ethical high ground and build solid reputations with their stakeholders. Originality/value It is believed that this study is the first academic study that compares Chinese and international ABC standards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-451
JournalCorporate Governance: The international journal of business in society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Code of conducts
  • Corporate ethics
  • Corporate governance
  • Corruption
  • Risk management

Indexed by

  • ABDC-C
  • Scopus


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