News Dec 29, 2015 09:16 AM EST

China Telecom boss Chang Xiaobing under scrutiny

By Staff Writer

Chang Xiaobing, Chief Executive at China Telecom, has been undergoing an investigation by anti-corruption watchdog. The Chinese government has commenced a stringent action plan against corruption. Xiaobing is the latest catch in the line of high profile executives.  

According to a statement on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Chang Xiaobing is suspected of serious violation of discipline. The local media reported that Xiaobing has been missing from Sunday.

Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the watchdog of the ruling Communist Party, is probing into Chang Xiaobing's severe disciplinary vilations. 

BBC reports that the ongoing Chinese government's anti-corruption exercise has brought over 70 senior officials from the state-run companies under investigation. The 58-year-old Xiaobing became Chairman of China Telecom in August. 

The list of top Chinese officials, who have been facing probe on corruption charges, includes Jiang Jiemin, former chairman of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Xu Jianyi, for chairman of China FAW Group, Shen Hao, former president of financial media group 21st Century and Cheng Boming, president of CITIC Securities.

As per the media reports, Xiaobing was missing just days before a meeting of the China Telecom. The meeting was scheduled on 28 December. His mobile phone was switched off. The Chinese government has started probing oil companies in 2014 and later in aviation and automotive sectors. Now, the focus has been shifted to telecom companies.

Yahoo Finance further reported that China Telecom's stock fell three percent on Monday. The arrest news has impacted the share price negatively. China Telecom shares were trading lower at HK$3.62 on Hong Kong Exchange from HK$3.73. 

A latest report from Eurasia Group indicates that 14 state-owned enterprise executives with vice ministerial rank or above cadres have been facing a probe by Chinese government regulatory. It's learnt that five top officials so far have been convicted and handed over to government prosecutors.

Another report by Financial Times states that the company confirmed that Chang Xiaobing was under investigation in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. China Telecom also assured the bourse that business operations remained normal. 

Xiaobing is a former chairman of China Unicom, which the second largest mobile operator in China. The Chinese government is going beyond public enterprises as part of its anti-corruption drive. 

There's another missing case from the private sector as well. Guo Guangchang, the chairman of one of China's largest private conglomerates Fosun International, was also reported to have gone missing early this month. 

Political analysts opine that the ongoing anti-graft drive may also be aimed at bringing high profile personalities into the party line.

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