July 1, 2013 / 2:27 PM / 6 years ago

Chinese police investigating local GlaxoSmithKline staff: report

Signage is pictured on the company headquarters of GlaxoSmithKline in west London in this July 21, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Toby Melville

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - High-level Chinese staff at British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK.L) are being investigated by police in the south-central Chinese city of Changsha on suspicion of unspecified economic crimes, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The Xinhua report on Sunday did not state the number of employees under investigation or give any further details.

Repeated calls to the Changsha police were unanswered on Monday.

A GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) spokeswoman in London said investigations by Chinese authorities into the firm’s operations in China were ongoing, but added it was unclear what the investigations were about.

She said Chinese authorities had visited the company’s sites in Beijing, Shanghai and Changsha.

Last month, GSK fired its head of research and development in China after discovering a study by some of its Chinese scientists contained misrepresentations of data.

Reporting by Melanie Lee; Additional reporting by Adam Jourdan in London; Editing by Mark Potter

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