The Chinese police accused the executive, Mark Reilly, the former head of Glaxo’s China operations, of ordering his subordinates to form a “massive bribery network” that resulted in higher drug prices and illegal revenue of more than $150m.
At a news conference in Beijing, the authorities said Mr. Reilly, who is British, and two Chinese-born Glaxo executives, Zhang Guowei and Zhao Hongyan, had even arranged to bribe government officials in Beijing and Shanghai.
The police did not say whether they had detained Mr. Reilly, who left China after the investigation got underway last summer. He then returned to assist in the investigation and may still be in China. A spokesman for the British Embassy in Beijing said the embassy was assisting Mr. Reilly.
The two Chinese executives — Mr. Zhang, the company’s human resources director, and Mr. Zhao, the head of the legal affairs department — are being held in China and are expected to face prosecution.