A Chinese company shortlisted to build Telstra’s next superfast mobile network and critical West Australian technology infrastructure has bribed foreign officials and faced US criminal penalties for sanctions busting.
China’s ZTE has become the world’s third largest supplier of telecommunications equipment but documents obtained by Fairfax Media reveal the company engaged in systemic foreign bribery, hosting an internal department devoted to making corrupt payments to government officials.
Documents show ZTE paid out more than 20 per cent of one contract’s value in bribes to government officials in west Africa – payments that were meticulously recorded in internal accounts. According to the documents, ZTE paid bribes of $US12.8 million ($17 million) to secure one contract.
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