The graft probe targeting the China National Petroleum Corporation – a powerbase of retired security tsar Zhou Yongkang – continues to widen, the 21st Century Business Herald reported yesterday, citing “multiple sources” close to the state oil giant. The report also said that a businesswoman from Heilongjiang province, who was recently removed from the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, had business ties to the state oil giant. There has been no official explanation for the removal of Liu Yingxia from the CPPCC since it was announced on Thursday. Liu founded conglomerate Harbin Sinoeagle and is a vice-chairwoman of All-China General Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The report did not offer any direct link between Liu and the larger probe of Zhou and his associates. But it said her leading role at the Chamber of Urban Infrastructure, which is affiliated with the government-sanctioned industry and commerce federation, “was a key factor for her removal”. Two unnamed sources, one at a trade association and the other at the Heilongjiang chamber of commerce, told the Herald that Liu and the disgraced CNPC chief Jiang Jiemin knew each other, and that a CNPC subsidiary had invested one billion yuan (HK$1.27 billion) in 2012 into a fund set up by the Chamber of Urban Infrastructure. The Herald said it had no confirmation from the CNPC on the story. Liu’s company told the Post last week that she left the advisory body because she had missed many CPPCC meetings last year. She was out of the country for cancer treatment and would return soon.