A mid-ranking official at the China Securities Regulatory Commission has been arrested on corruption charges, a move which could lead to a more comprehensive probe into stock market listing approvals. Wang Xiaoshi, a deputy division director in the commission's Department of Public Offering Supervision, was arrested earlier this month for taking bribes, mainland newspapers have reported. The reports did not detail the corruption charges. Wang's department is responsible for reviewing applications by mainland firms seeking stock market listings. The 43-year-old official acted as the key liaison official for special committees that give final approval to listing applications. The Beijing Times reported yesterday that the anti-corruption bureau of the Sicheng District People's Procuratorate in Beijing started investigating the Wang case on November 4 and he was arrested last Friday. The Economic Observer newspaper said Wang's arrest could be related to the commission's approval of a listing application filed by a Fujian textile firm in April. Analysts yesterday said the arrest showed there were still problems with the approval procedures for public offerings and new share issues despite the commission's efforts to boost transparency and accountability. Late last year, the commission changed its procedures by posting the names of listing applicants and the names of the committee members appointed to review the applications. Until then, the names of the firms and committee members had remained secret, which led to allegations that many listing candidates paid huge bribes to find out whether they were shortlisted or to get the names of committee members appointed to review a particular case. Members of the listing committee were different for each new case. Despite the reform, analysts said it was still an open secret that listing candidates and investment banks gave massive payments to public relations firms to lobby committee members. Commission officials declined to comment yesterday.