China Is Cracking Down on Bankers. Here Are Some of the Targets.
For years, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has lashed out at greed and corruption in the country’s financial sector, making several high-profile examples in the process.
But recently, as President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party seek to tighten their grip on key aspects of the economy, the anti-corruption movement has gained momentum, wiping out the tycoons in China’s financial and insurance sectors.
Chinese anti-corruption officials warned bankers in February that they would “investigate and deal with those who disregard the party’s leadership.” They instructed finance executives to embrace the party’s values and avoid copying what they see as the sole focus of the West on money.
In addition to the discipline campaign, China is implementing sweeping reforms of its financial regulatory system, Embedding party cadres To state financial institutions.
Xi and his proxies are using disciplinary action to force the financial system to loyalty to the party, according to Wu Zhang, a Beijing-based current affairs writer and political analyst.
“They can only do that by managing personnel changes and running the party’s leadership through it,” Wu said.
The extent to which the government goes to hunt down prominent business figures became apparent in 2017 when police arrested Chinese-born billionaire Xiao Jianghua from his Four Seasons Hotel apartment in Hong Kong. rice field. Kong. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison last year.
The party later stepped in to effectively block Jack Ma, co-founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, from proceeding with a massive public offering of Ant Financial in 2020. Alibaba’s financial sister The company, Ant, plans and Ma agreed to relinquish control of Ant this year.
In 2022, Chinese regulators announced that they will punish banks and insurance institutions 4,620 times, a 19% increase over the previous year.
Yuen Yuen An, professor of political economy at Johns Hopkins University, said: “Financial discipline is a powerful way to keep elites in check.
Dozens of Chinese executives and senior officials in the country’s financial sector have been investigated or sanctioned since the beginning of the year, according to the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the country’s top anti-corruption watchdog, and national supervisory authorities. Yes. The Commission is a governmental regulatory body that works in conjunction with the Disciplinary Commission.
Here are just a few of the notable people and companies that have been caught in the wire this year.
Liu Ti, Shanghai Stock Exchange
Liu Ti, former deputy general manager of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, investigation Suspicion of legal violations in the course of work. Authorities did not disclose the reasons for the investigation. The Shanghai Stock Exchange did not respond to a request for comment.
Li Xiaopeng, China Everbright
Li Xiaopeng, a former Communist Party secretary and chairman of China Everbright Group, a giant state-owned financial company, is under investigation on charges. violation of discipline and law.
According to the Chinese media coverage, an employee of Shenzhen’s Everbright Xinglong Trust, was taken into custody by authorities in April, possibly in connection with Mr Li’s investigation. At issue is a Shenzhen real estate project that Everbright worked with several developers on.
China Everbright Group’s party committee, the leadership within state-owned enterprises that report to the Communist Party, said it “firmly supports” the decision to investigate Li and will “fully cooperate” with anti-corruption regulators.
Huang Xianhui, Huarong Asset Management
Huang Xianhui, former Communist Party secretary and general manager of the Beijing branch of China Hua Rong Asset Management, said: investigation Suspicion of legal violations in the course of work.
Huarong Asset Management, a so-called bad debt company Founded in 1999is one of four major state-owned enterprises set up to take over loans and other assets that have plummeted in value after the Asian financial crisis.
In January 2021, former Huarong chairman Lai Xiaomiin was sentenced to death for bribery, corruption and bigamy after accepting approximately $277 million in bribes.he was It has been executed A few weeks later, China used the death penalty for economic crimes on rare occasions.
Liu Liangge, Bank of China
Liu Lianghe, former Communist Party secretary and governor of the Bank of China, investigation By the country’s top anti-corruption watchdog.
Liu was dismissed as the bank’s party secretary in February, and resigned from other posts, including president, a month later. Bank of China, a state-owned commercial financial institution, has been the focus of allegations of misappropriation of funds, improper classification of the risks of certain loans, and other criminal charges.
On the same day, Mr. Liu was dismissed as party secretary of the bank, and the regulator disclosed The bank was fined for similar offenses along with four other financial institutions.
At least four other senior Bank of China officials have been under investigation since the beginning of the year for alleged violations of discipline and the law.
Tian Huiyu, Merchants Bank
Economist and banker Tian Huiyu, who served as governor of Merchants Bank from 2013 to 2022, trades stocks in Shanghai and Hong Kong. investigation From April 2022 on suspicion of insider trading and insider information leakage
In February, Chinese prosecutors filed a lawsuit Tian accused him of bribery, insider trading and leaking insider information. The prosecution also accused Mr. Tian of “abusing his power for personal gain and causing particularly great loss to the national interest.”
Wang Liang, Governor of Merchants Bank Said October 2022, “The Cheonhuiyu case is a personal case and has no direct relationship with CMB.”
Bao Huang, China Renaissance Holdings
China Renaissance Holdings made a surprising announcement on February 16th. The company’s chairman and chief executive officer, Bao Fan, a prominent investment banker in the technology sector, is “out of touch.” After the disclosure, the company’s stock price plummeted.
Bao’s disappearance sent a chilling message to the industry about the extent of Beijing’s crackdown on the business elite. Chinese media reported that authorities had taken him in to help investigate a former senior executive at his company.
The company issued a statement February 26th Bao had “cooperated with the investigation” by Chinese authorities. Since then, there has been no update from the company on Bao Huang’s whereabouts.
Zhou Kaohsiung, Guangdong Rural Credit Union
Zhou Kaohsiung, a former party secretary and chairman of the Guangdong Rural Credit Union, was expelled from the party in January after being accused of serious misconduct and bribery charges. I had to give up my pension.
The move continues a crackdown on China’s rural banks, sparking a wave of protests after a scandal last year in Henan province where a local bank refused to withdraw money to depositors.
The authorities investigation Last November, it fined Mr. Zhou for alleged disciplinary and legal violations.