Top power industry job for Li Xiaolin, daughter of former Chinese premier

Speculation over future of former premier's daughter ends with the announcement of her appointment as China Datang's vice-president

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 July, 2015, 1:17am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 July, 2015, 1:17am

Li Xiaolin, the daughter of former premier Li Peng, has been given a top job at one of the country's electricity giants, ending weeks of speculation over her next step after she was not chosen for a senior management position at a newly formed power company.

The State Council's State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission announced on its website on Tuesday that Li had been appointed as the vice-president and a member of the Communist Party group at China Datang Corporation, one of the largest power generation companies on the mainland.

Li said she would "firmly obey Sasac's decision" and promised to "assume the role as soon as possible" to contribute to China Datang's reform and development, according to a statement on the company's website on Tuesday.

Many industry observers were surprised at news last month that Li would not be on the management team of the newly formed State Power Investment Group - a merger between State Nuclear Power Technology and China Power Investment (CPI), where she was once a vice-president, especially given her family's perceived high influence in the power sector.

Li, known as China's "power queen", has worked at CPI for 12 years and is chairwoman of one of its subsidiaries, China Power International Development.

Citing unnamed industry sources, financial news outlet Caijing said Li had been expected to head up the newly merged company.

Li did not appear in public for some time after she was apparently sidelined.

She was also absent from China Power International Development's annual general meeting in Hong Kong in June, fuelling further speculation about her future.

But Li took part in a China Power International Development video conference on June 18.

She also made a low-key trip to Hong Kong for a company signing ceremony eight days later, dispelling rumours that she was not allowed to leave the mainland.

According to the China Datang statement, Sasac deputy chief Liu Qiang told a meeting at the company yesterday that the decision to transfer Li from China Power Investment to China Datang was made "in line with work demands".

"Comrade Li Xiaolin is of relatively good political calibre, is familiar with the electricity industry, and has relatively rich experience in managing listed companies and a relatively strong leadership ability," Liu was quoted by the statement as saying.

He added that Li had also contributed to the development of China Power International Development.

Liu commended Li for her strong career and sense of responsibility, as well as the strict requirements she imposed on herself.