Chengdu Hi-Tech head investigated as probe widens

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 November, 2013, 3:11am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 November, 2013, 3:28am

The chairman of a large state-owned development company in Chengdu is being investigated for unspecified crimes, the company said yesterday, in what could be part of a broader crackdown on corruption in the Sichuan capital.

Ping Xing, chairman of Chengdu Hi-Tech Development, has been under investigation since August for violations of Communist Party discipline, generally code for corruption on the mainland.

"Recently, the Chengdu commission on discipline inspection has filed a case to investigate Chengdu Hi-Tech Group's chairman and president, Ping Xing," the company said in a statement to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

"Through investigation, Ping Xing's behaviour is considered a severe violation of party discipline, and he is suspected of crimes. These criminal issues have been passed on to the relevant legal authorities to handle."

The company has been responsible for developing two neighbourhoods in Chengdu, a city of 14 million people, and has invested about 33 billion yuan (HK$41.7 billion), according to its holding company's website.

Since Sichuan provincial deputy party secretary Li Chuncheng was toppled in December last year for "serious discipline violations", a series of officials and business people have fallen under suspicion, including former provincial deputy governor Guo Yongxiang and businesswoman He Yan, both of whom are likewise being investigated for violations of party discipline.

President Xi Jinping has called the mainland's pervasive corruption a threat to the party's very survival and vowed to pursue powerful "tigers" as well as lowly "flies". Many officials have been caught up in the investigations, which have now also extended to large state-owned companies.

As part of that campaign, Beijing launched a series of graft investigations into the energy sector, announcing in August and September that five former senior officials of the country's biggest oil business, China National Petroleum Corp, were under investigation for "serious discipline violations".

A top executive at the country's largest bulk-shipping company, China Cosco, is also the subject of a government probe.