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Harry Cassin
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Andy Spalding
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D&B Suspends Operations At China Unit

Dun & Bradstreet has temporarily suspended operations at Shanghai Roadway D&B Marketing Services Co Ltd. pending an investigation into potential violations of the FCPA and Chinese privacy laws.

Reuters reported that police in Shanghai ‘confiscated four computer servers at the unit’s headquarters and questioned three senior executives.’

New Jersey-based Dun & Bradstreet gathers and sells information about individuals and companies. It acquired Roadway’s operations in 2009.

Reuters said Chinese state television reported that D&B has information about the income, jobs, and addresses for at least 150 million Chinese. It has been selling the information for 23 U.S. cents each to telemarketing companies, the Chinese report said.

In an SEC filing today, D&B said it has been reviewing allegations that local employees ‘may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and certain other laws in our China operations.’

‘D&B is cooperating with the local Chinese investigation,’ the filing said, ‘and has voluntarily reported these matters to the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.’

Roadway accounted for $23 million in revenue last year and $2 million in operating income. D&B’s total revenue for 2011 was $1.76 billion.

Dun & Bradstreet Corporation trades on the NYSE under the symbol DNB.

View a copy of Dun & Bradstreet’s March 19, 2012 Form 8-K (Report of Other Events) here.

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1 Comment

  1. In China there are generally two ways to get this kind of data: 1. by installing a data-collecting device at the server of an internet service provider (ISP), or 2. by obtaining customers lists of insurance companies, health care service providers, banks, tele-communications companies, etc. (often from insiders acting in individual rather than official capacity). Either way the sources are likely state-owned entities, as private entities wouldn't have an ISP license or large amounts of personal data in the first place.

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