US information corp closes Shanghai unit

Updated: 2012-05-09 13:59

By He Wei in Shanghai (

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Dun & Bradstreet Corp, a US commercial information company, announced on Tuesday it would permanently close its Shanghai unit pending an investigation into allegations that certain data collection practices may have violated local Chinese consumer data privacy laws.

"In light of the ongoing investigation as well as the time and cost to resolve these issues, we subsequently decided to permanently cease the operations of Shanghai Roadway D&B Marketing Services Co Ltd and we have begun the process of shutting down that business," according to a company statement e-mailed to China Daily.

But the company will continue operating other business-to-business sales, marketing and risk management businesses in the region, it said.

On March 15, a report that Shanghai Roadway was under suspicion of illegally obtaining and trading individuals' personal data was broadcast on China Central Television in a program about consumer rights.

The company obtained private information about individuals including income levels, job titles, phone numbers and addresses from banks, insurance companies, real estate agents and cold-call companies. This information was sold to marketing and telemarketing companies, according to the CCTV report.

Shanghai police said on March 16 that they questioned three senior executives and confiscated several computer servers and hard drives at the local unit's headquarters on March 15, and they are still looking into the case, according to Xinhua News Agency.

"D&B (offers its) regrets to all people in China for any concerns about the use of their personal data raised through recent media reports. D&B takes seriously its obligations to conduct its business in a responsible manner, compliant with all applicable regulations and consistent with our values. The company remains committed to our team members and our customers and looks forward to fully resolving these matters," the statement added.

D&B acquired Roadway's operations in 2009. In 2011 Roadway generated approximately $22 million in revenue and $2 million in operating income.