Liu Wen, the director of CCTV-9, the documentary channel of Chinese Central Television, has been detained by authorities for investigation.
The mainland’s business news website Caixin.com reported last night that Liu, who supervised the production of the popular documentary series A Bite of China, was taken away due to “financial problems” on Wednesday.
The website cited sources saying the National Audit Office Liu was found to be have engaged in financial misdoings in the purchase of foreign documentaries and was suspected to benefit from implicit product placements in top-rated documentaries.
This is just the latest anti-graft hit on the state broadcaster. In June, Guo Zhenxi , CCTV’s financial news channel director, and producer Tian Liwu , were detained on suspicion of corruption. In July, the channel’s leading news anchor, Rui Chenggang, was also detained in a corruption probe, together with its managing director and a producer.
A employee at the documentary channel said he saw Liu on Thursday at the station, Caixin.com reported.
Launched in 2011, CCTV-9 is a 24-hour channel broadcasting documentaries in both Chinese and English. It claims to reach more than 900 million people in China.
Under Liu, the documentary channel has enjoyed success commercially. According to media reports, Liu said last year the channel had started to turn a profit well ahead of the goal of doing so in three to five years. He added that the advertising revenue of the channel last year was expected to reach 200 million yuan (HK$250.9 million).
First broadcasted in May 2012, A Bite of China explores the diversity of Chinese cuisine. It has been the channel’s most successful programme and is now broadcast in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore as well as the mainland.