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World Bank cancels business report after investigation

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The World Bank is canceling a prominent report on business conditions around the world. Investigators found staff members were pressured to alter data about China and other governments. The bank says it will discontinue “Doing Business” after an internal investigation prompted by reports of “data irregularities”.

The changes followed lobbying by China for a better ranking and came ahead of a World Bank drive to raise funds.

Changes were made to “accommodate geopolitical considerations,” the report said. The World Bank researchers knew the changes “were inappropriate,” but feared retaliation, it said.

The Chinese foreign ministry expressed hope the World Bank would “conduct a comprehensive investigation” to “better maintain the professionalism and credibility” of “Doing Business.”

“The Chinese government attaches great importance to optimizing the business environment,” said a ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian.


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