D&B managed its global operations through various international segments, which included regional management in Europe, Canada, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. D&B’s Asia Pacific interests included subsidiaries, joint ventures and strategic partnerships in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, which were collectively managed through offices located in Shanghai. D&B securities were registered with the SEC and traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Chinese subsidiaries used third-party agents to make unlawful payments to obtain data vital to Dun & Bradstreet’s business as a provider of business financial information. One subsidiary, part of a joint venture with a Chinese company, acquired non-public financial statement information on Chinese entities, in violation of Chinese law, by making unlawful payments to Chinese government officials. The second subsidiary made improper payments to third parties to acquire non-public personal data in violation of Chinese law that was used in its products and also made improper payments to obtain specific business. These improper payments were falsely recorded as legitimate business expenses. Despite concerns raised during pre-acquisition due diligence efforts, Dun & Bradstreet failed to take appropriate action to stop the improper payments or the false entries into the subsidiary’s books and records, which continued for several years post-acquisition.