Conglomerate Wanda Group has fired nearly 20 managerial-level employees for alleged corruption and announced plans to tighten internal management, domestic news portal thepaper.cn reported on Wednesday.
The action involved 18 people who held managerial-level positions at Wanda Group's headquarters or local branches, including four general managers, according to the report. Two of these people were reported to the police, the report said.
Another person involved was a project manager from State-owned China Construction First Building Group Corp, the report said.
The story did not specify what action Wanda took in this case. However, the manager was assigned to one of Wanda's projects and allegedly embezzled 4.5 million yuan ($720,000) by falsifying the value of construction work that was performed, the report said.
Wanda could not be reached for comment on the report as of press time.
According to a statement posted on Wanda's website Tuesday, the company dismissed 16 employees because of abuse of power and seeking personal profits.
The statement also said that two other employees in the project management department were handed over to police for having accepted or solicited large bribes from construction companies.
"It's not unusual to see bribery in project bidding or leasing," an industry source surnamed Zhang told the Global Times on Wednesday. Zhang formerly worked for the management department of a large shopping mall.
To obtain space in popular malls, lesser-known brands may bribe the leasing teams, and even prominent brands may give leasing staff "a little something extra" for better contract conditions such as lower rents, Zhang said.
Following the report of the corrupt practices, Ding Benxi, vice president of Wanda Group, ordered every sector in the group to review its management system and close any loopholes, according to the statement.
Ding also said in the statement that the group will give more support to its audit department and all staff should give unconditional support to audit work.
Wanda places great importance on internal audits.
It has conducted more than 100 such reviews that covered more than 1,000 subsidiaries, according to a post on Wanda's Weibo account on May 21.
The audit department is reportedly the only one in the group under direct control of Wang Jianlin, the group's founder and president.