Chinese Communist "princeling" Bo Xilai, expected by many to take a key leadership position in the leadership transition of 2012, was expelled from the Communist Party in September after a career that saw him as Mayor of Dalian City, Minister of Commerce and Party Chief of the Chongqing municipality. His wife Gu Kailai received a suspended death sentence in August 2012 for murdering British business partner Neil Heywood.
Corporate identity of Bo's elder brother is a puzzle
Bo Xiyong, the eldest brother of ousted Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai, apparently remains a vice-chairman of China Everbright International - but it seems he also goes by another name.
Bo, who is also an executive director at the Hong Kong-listed renewable energy firm, seems to use the name of 'Li Xueming', company documents show. However, the company's chief executive, Chen Xiaoping, declined to confirm or deny Bo's identity at a briefing following its annual meeting yesterday.
Well-connected mainlanders often use an assumed name overseas to protect their identity.
Despite repeated questions from reporters to confirm that Li is indeed Bo, Chen was evasive, saying only that Li had several names and behaved in a 'low-key manner'.
But the government website of Shanxi province listed Bo - under his original name of Bo Xiyong - as an executive director and deputy general manager of China Everbright Group. The company is the parent of Everbright International.
Intriguingly, a 2011 Everbright annual report lists Li Xueming as an executive director and deputy general manager of China Everbright Group.
Asked whether Bo Xiyong was under investigation, Chen said Bo was in Beijing and 'completely at liberty'. He said Bo could not attend yesterday's annual meeting because he had a cold. 'Li Xueming is still vice-chairman of the firm,' Chen said. 'We were on the phone with him [on Tuesday], seeking his views on company matters. His background is not a concern to the company.'
Even so, Bo had not attended Everbright's annual meetings in Hong Kong for the past five years, said a company spokeswoman.
As for the company, it was not being probed by the mainland authorities, Chen said. 'All of the company's projects are operating normally. Bo Xilai's case has not affected the company and has nothing to do with it,' he said.
Chen also said it was not his call as to whether Bo would remain as the vice-chairman.
Bo was appointed to the firm's board in 2003 on the recommendation of its parent, Chen said. Although Bo serves as an executive director, he is not involved in the company's daily operations, according to Chen. 'He [Bo] has made valuable contributions to the company,' Chen said.
According to Everbright's 2011 annual report, Li Xueming attended all five board meetings last year.
The families of Bo Xilai and general Liu Yuan, a political commissar of the military's General Logistics Department, are connected through Everbright. Liu's uncle, Wang Guangying, was the chairman of China Everbright Group in the 1980s. (Liu's late mother, Wang Guangmei, wife of the late president Liu Shaoqi, was Wang's sister.