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  • Oct 21, 2014
  • Updated: 12:27am
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PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 December, 2012, 1:01pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 December, 2012, 2:48pm

Beijing traffic chief under scrutiny over car plate lottery

Song Jianguo, head of the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, is being investigated by the party’s discipline authorities over allegations of rigging a car licence plate scheme, said China’s Economy and Nation Weekly on Thursday.

BIO

Amy Li began her journalism career as a crime news reporter in Queens, New York, in 2004. She joined Reuters in Beijing in 2008 as a multimedia editor. Amy taught journalism at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu before joining SCMP in Hong Kong in 2012. She is now an online news editor for SCMP.com. Amy can be reached at chunxiao.li@scmp.com, or follow her on Twitter @AmyLiSCMP
 

Song Jianguo, head of the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, is being investigated by the party’s discipline authorities over allegations of rigging a car licence plate scheme,  China’s Economy and Nation Weekly reported on Thursday.

Song is accused of manipulating Beijing’s car plate lottery, according to a source interviewed by the Economy and Nation Weekly. Car buyers applying for plates are selected by lottery because of high demand. About 1.26 million applicants competed for fewer than 20,000 plates this month alone.

So when the name “Liu Xuemei” was drawn in seven consecutive rounds, many people suspected foul play. Netizens soon discovered that Liu Xuemei was the name of the director of the vehicle and driver management department of the Ministry of Public Security.

Liu is also in charge of drafting rules for vehicle permits. But the government tried to explain that more than 75 people with the name “Liu Xuemei” had entered the contest over the years.

The lottery scheme was launched in 2010 to reduce car ownership and traffic congestion in the capital. It came under fire this week after reports about the “Liu Xuemei” drawing.

China’s newly appointed leaders have been targeting senior officials in an anti-corruption drive. Sichuan’s deputy party secretary, Li Chuncheng was placed under investigation by discipline authorities earlier this week.

 

 

UPDATE: The Beijing Traffic Management Bureau earlier released a statement today to clarify details regarding the incident:

Today, several news websites reported  that the head of Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, Song Jianguo was being put under investigation by the Commission on Discipline over allegations of favouritism. This message is not true.

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