By Jonathan Davies

The pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has been fined $492m (£297m) by Chinese regulators over bribery allegations.

Changsha Intermediate People's Court in Hunan Province found GSK officials guilty "offering money or property in order to obtain improper commercial gains" and of bribing non-government personnel.

Mark Reilly, the former boss of GSK's operations in China, has been handed a three year suspended sentence and is expected to be deported. Other unnamed GSK executives are expected to face prison sentences between two and four years, according to Chinese Xinhua press agency.

GSK said the actions of those involved were a 2clear breach" of the company's governance. Chief executive, Sir Andrew Witty, said: "Reaching a conclusion in the investigation of our Chinese business is important, but this has been a deeply disappointing matter for GSK. We have and will continue to learn from this."

GlaxoSmithKline was accused of ordering staff to bribe hospital officials and doctors in China to use its products.

In July, GSK admitted that the allegations were "credible" after conducting its own internal investigation.

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