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Probes into problems in SOEs continue

By CAO YIN | China Daily | Updated: 2023-06-09 09:35


Latest scandal hits engineering exec; 7 senior employees also investigated

A scandal involving a former official from a company affiliated with major petrochemical producer China National Petroleum Corporation over a video clip showing him holding hands with a woman has once again sparked public attention in the fight against corruption in State-owned enterprises.

The clip showing a man strolling along a street in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, holding hands with a young woman went viral on Wednesday.

Netizens quickly identified the man as Hu Jiyong, a general manager of a Beijing-based company affiliated to China National Petroleum Engineering Corporation (CPEC), who was on a business trip to Chengdu. The CPEC itself is a subsidiary of the CNPC.

The woman, who is seen wearing a long, pink off-the-shoulder dress, is neither his wife nor his daughter.

The incident, dubbed "hand-holding gate" by some media, soon topped the most-searched list on a number of social media websites, with netizens attempting to divulge more information about the pair.

On Wednesday afternoon, Hu, who served as the executive director, Party secretary and general manager of the Huanqiu Project Management (Beijing) Co Ltd, was removed from his posts and placed under disciplinary investigation, according to an official release issued by the company.

It added that punitive measures will be taken in line with the results of the investigation, but did not elaborate on the relationship between the pair.

On Thursday, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, the country's top anti-corruption watchdog, announced that seven former employees at State-owned companies are being investigated for serious suspected violations of discipline and law.

The seven former executive officers were involved in the airline, new energy, ordnance equipment, electricity, automobile and manufacturing industries, according to a statement issued by the CCDI and the National Commission of Supervision.

China has worked hard to rein in problems in State-owned enterprises, especially since SOEs were singled out as a major target during the latest central inspection.

In April, the CCDI disclosed that five officials working for State-owned enterprises had been investigated for alleged violations of discipline and law, calling for disciplinary regulators to get to the bottom of the problems to help stabilize the economy and promote development.

A statement posted by the CCDI on April 26 showed that the fight against corruption in SOEs has been a priority since 2020, signaling that inspections and the combat of graft would remain priorities.

Since the 19th CPC National Congress in 2017, some 20 officials who previously served in important positions at State-owned enterprises have been placed under investigation, according to the statement.

In February last year, Li Guohua, former general manager of telecom giant China Unicom, was investigated for suspected violations of discipline and law. Earlier this year, Li was indicted on charges of taking bribes and abuse of power.

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