Graft watchdog launches ‘intensive’ investigation into Unicom, amongst others

25 Nov 2014

China’s corruption watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) has launched a series of investigations into 13 state owned enterprises, including China Unicom, the nation’s second largest telco by subscribers. Other firms facing scrutiny include China Petrochemical Group (Sinopec Group), China Radio International and China Southern Airlines. The CCDI has warned that the investigations will follow a different pattern to previous probes, and will be shorter but more intensive and effective, targeting problems that had already been brought to their attention. South China Morning Post quotes CDDI deputy secretary Zhang Jun as saying that: ‘These special investigations are our new weapon in the battle against corruption…Only officials embroiled in misconduct scandals will be involved.’ The investigations are part of a sweeping crackdown corruption launched by President Xi Jinping when he took office two years ago, warning that the nation’s graft problem would ‘doom the party and the state.’ Unicom is not the first telco to be caught up in the probes; twelve China Mobile officials have been arrested on corruption charges in the last five years, at least two of which received death sentences. Most recently, in November 2013 a former VP of China Mobile Communications Corp – the parent company of cellco China Mobile – Lu Xiangdong, was sentenced to life in prison for accepting bribes totalling around CNY25 million (USD4.07 million) between 2003 and 2011.