A Guangzhou building contractor has lost his appeal against a 41/2-year jail term handed down in one of the first corruption cases to emerge from the hurried construction of the city's controversial mega university project. A court statement carried by state media said the Dongshan District People's Court had found Wu Shangming , 49, former chairman and general manager of the Guangzhou No3 Construction Co, guilty of taking 451,000 yuan in bribes and a mobile phone from four subcontractors between 2003 and this year. Wu, who had subcontracted foundation works and a faculty staff quarters project to the four, argued in the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court for a waiver or lighter sentence because he surrendered himself and offered information to investigators. The four men will be dealt with separately. The government has so far spent 33 billion yuan on the Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Centre, a pet project of Guangdong party boss Zhang Dejiang which was designed to meet the urgent higher education needs of the province's economic development.