China film chief Han Sanping retires amid links to Zhou probe
Han Sanping retires weeks after he was interviewed as part of a probe into a former deputy propaganda minister, according to the financial news service Caixin
The head of the state-run China Film Group Corporation (CFGC), Han Sanping, has stepped down in a management reshuffle amid reports he was questioned in a graft probe linked to former security tsar Zhou Yongkang .
Han, 60, told China National Radio yesterday that he had relinquished leadership of the mainland's biggest film group after reaching retirement age. But financial news service Caixin noted that Han was in January indentified as a source in an inquiry into Li Dongsheng, the ex-propaganda minister and former deputy security minister.
The report did not allege any wrongdoing by Han, who went back to work after the inquiry.
Li, a close ally of Zhou, was placed under investigation for alleged corruption in December and was removed from his security post in February. Zhou retired as one of the party's most powerful officials, but is now facing a high-profile graft probe.
Meanwhile, Han will hand over the reins to Jiao Hongfen, formerly a vice-chairman of the film company, according to Caixin. The report said CFGC executives normally retire at age 63, although the official limit is 60.
Han was named vice-chairman of the film group in 1999 and became its chairman in 2007. He oversaw the industry's rise from a small regional market to the world's second-biggest film market, worth US$2.7 billion in 2012.
Han has also directed movies including The Founding of a Republic (2009) and Beginning of the Great Revival (2011).