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Toyota’s China Financing Unit Fined for Bribery, Xinhua Reports

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Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp.’s Chinese auto financing unit was fined for commercial bribery for giving rebates to dealers who steered loan business its way, Xinhua News Agency said, citing a local government agency.

Toyota Motor Finance (China) Co. was charging annual interest of 10 percent to 13 percent on loans, compared with 7 percent at China’s major state-owned banks, and rebating some of the interest earnings to the dealers between August 2008 and April 2010, Xinhua said.

The industry and commerce administration in Hangzhou, in China’s eastern province of Zhejiang, fined the auto-finance company 140,000 yuan plus all illegal earnings, Xinhua said.

Both Mike Michels, a U.S. spokesman for Toyota, and Justin Leach, a spokesman for Toyota’s North American finance unit, said they were unaware of the development and weren’t immediately able to comment.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Fellman at jfellman@bloomberg.net