An entertainment industry magnate connected to disgraced deputy police chief Li Dongsheng has reportedly died of a heart attack at age 47.
News of Li Ming's death started to circulate among the mainland's social media late on Thursday and was confirmed yesterday by Li's company, Beijing Galloping Horse Media.
The company did not immediately respond to inquiries about the cause or circumstance of Li's death.
But three people who knew Li Ming said he was a close friend of the former vice-minister of public security, who was sacked on Christmas Day and placed under investigation for graft.
Li Dongsheng in turn is closely linked to former Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang , who is also facing a graft probe.
A report on news portal Caixin cited anonymous sources as saying the entertainment magnate was taken away by authorities a week ago to "assist an investigation". It said Li liked to drink and had suffered heart problems for some time, but the report was no longer accessible by late last night.
Li was born into a military family in 1966. He graduated from the Communication University of China in 1989 and worked in the advertisement industry. He started his own agency in 1994 and in less than two years secured a major contract with a news programme run by China Central Television. Li Dongsheng was the deputy chief of CCTV in the 1990s, overseeing the news channel. The ad deal ran until 2009.