China has been detaining officials involved in the licensing of foreign business to operate in China, the Wall Street Journal reported. The actions are reportedly part of a probe by Beijing into direct-selling firms, and come as Avon Products, a US-based direct seller, investigates suspected bribery by its own representatives in China under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. However, it is unclear whether Beijing’s investigation is connected to the Avon probe. Officials detained by Beijing include the director general of the Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom), as well as a Mofcom deputy director general responsible for the direct-selling sector. Beijing has not yet made any announcements about its investigation, though the detentions have been reported in some domestic media.
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