- Chinese authorities raided the Shanghai offices of GroupM, Reuters reported.
- One current employee and two former ones were arrested.
One current and two former employees were arrested, the outlets reported. And according to the Financial Times, that included a senior advertising executive, who was detained for further questioning.
Reuters and the FT reported that the police also spoke to Patrick Xu, the CEO of GroupM in China, but he was not detained.
In a statement on Chinese social media, the Shanghai police said that three suspects stood accused of large bribes while working at the company, per the Journal.
GroupM declined to comment when reached by Insider.
Chinese authorities raided the Shanghai campus of WPP — the conglomerate which owns GroupM — on Friday, according to Reuters.
According to Insider Intelligence, WPP is the world's largest advertising company by revenue, bringing in $16.9 billion in 2019.
And GroupM is a major part of that, saying it is responsible for $60 billion in annual media investment.
Friday's raid and the subsequent arrests follow recent scrutiny on other foreign businesses operating in China.
Back in April, the crackdown saw computers confiscated and staff questioned at the investment firm Bain, the FT reported.
A month before that, Chinese authorities raided the Beijing offices of Mintz Group, the American corporate due diligence firm. Five employees were detained, according to Reuters.
The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics said in July that Mintz Group was fined $1.5 million, having illegally engaged in "foreign-related statistical investigation activities without obtaining approval," according to the Associated Press.