China's top anti-corruption agency has detained a senior banker from a major policy bank for inquiry. He Xingxiang, vice-president of China Development Bank (CDB) and a member of its party committee, is being investigated by the Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) for suspected severe violations of discipline and law, a euphemism for corruption.
Since 2012, the 58-year-old has become the third top CDB official to face a corruption investigation under President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign. Under the supervision of the State Council, China's cabinet, CDB, one of the country's three major policy banks, provides loans worth trillions of yuan.
It is critical in funding significant domestic infrastructure projects as well as key international investments, like those made under the Belt and Road Initiative. He worked at Bank of China, one of China's four state-owned commercial banks, before becoming vice-president of Agricultural Development Bank, another of China's policy banks, and the third is the Export-Import Bank of China, which supports the country's massive trade financing requirements.
China Development Bank vice president violates discipline and law
The confinement of Hu Huaibang, the former chairman and party leader of the CDB, was sentenced to life in jail eight months ago for accepting bribes of 85.5 million yuan (about $13.2 million). Hu's inquiry was one of the most high-profile corruption instances in the banking industry, as per The South China Morning Post.
It prompted concerns about state-owned banks after official media revealed that Hu had extended billions of dollars in credit to former CEFC China Energy Chairman Ye Jianming's firm through an intermediary, former Gansu party secretary Wang Sanyun.
Hu Xiaogang, the former vice president of China Orient Asset Management Co, one of the country's four biggest bad debt managers, was also investigated by CCDI in June. China hanged Lai Xiaomin, the former chairman of the troubled China Huarong Asset Management Co, in January after a court found him guilty of accepting bribes for 1.79 billion yuan ($277 million). Per Yahoo Finance, aside from ramping up their anti-corruption operations, authorities have been focusing on cleaning up financial hazards that have accrued over time.
Wang was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2019 for taking bribes worth 66.9 million yuan. Ye was apprehended by the CCDI in 2018, but his location is unknown. Yao Zhongmin, the former CDB deputy party head and chairman of the supervisory board, was sentenced to 14 years in jail in 2016 for accepting bribes worth 36.2 million yuan.
The CCDI has detained or prosecuted 22 top officials of deputy provincial or ministerial level or above this year, including financial heavyweight Cai E'sheng, former vice-chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, who was held in July.
Xi Jinping's crackdown in every industry
The instructions have been abrupt, dramatic, and frequently perplexing. Chinese officials prohibited "American Idol"-style competitions and events starring males considered too effeminate last week. Zhao Wei, one of China's wealthiest actresses, had her films, television shows, and news references removed from the Internet as if she never existed just days before.
A prohibition on for-profit tutoring destroyed China's multibillion-dollar private education business over the summer, and new rules have wiped $1 trillion off Chinese tech stocks since their February peak. "Xi Jinping Thought" is taught in academic settings, while international games and applications like Animal Crossing and Duolingo have been taken off shop sales as China's digital moguls strive to give more to President Xi Jinping's anti-inequality drive.
Over the last several months, China's government has unleashed a dizzying regulatory blitz that has hit nearly every industry, as per The Washington Post. As Xi Jinping prepares to run for a controversial third term in 2022, his sprawling "rectification" campaign, which includes such disparate targets as ride-hailing services, education, insurance, and even the amount of time children can spend playing video games, is redrawing the boundaries of business and society in China.