CORRUPTION
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Inquiry gives 'ridiculous' answer to boss's wine extravagance

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 February, 2013, 12:28pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 February, 2013, 4:21pm

The head of a state-owned enterprise, who was the subject of a disciplinary investigation after being accused by netizens of consuming 12 bottles of red wine during a meal, said he was just trying to “learn more about wine”.

Zhou Shaoqiang, general manager of a Zhuhai SOE investment firm, had allegedly ordered several bottles of wine valued at 70,000 yuan (HK$87,000) at a luxury clubhouse last month, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

The wines included luxury French brands such as Chateau Latour and Haut-Brion.

The disciplinary inspection team of Zhuhai’s municipal State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (Sasac) launched a probe in January. It found that Zhou and his guests “only drank six bottles”. The other six, it said, were “decorative props” used to “increase their knowledge about wine”.

Netizens on Sina Weibo called Sasac’s findings “ridiculous” and accused the commission of being in the same corrupt boat as Zhou.

“Sasac’s staff are too good, such creative talent should not go to waste. The person who made up that answer should be hired as a spokesperson,” said one microblogger.

“[Sasac’s] response really made me laugh. This news is a joke,” said another.

Zhou has been given the online nickname “wine learning brother” – a play on the recent trend of naming corrupt officials by their misdeeds.