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China’s Communist Party ousts Hangzhou

Security personnel stand guard at headquarters of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, China February 10, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

China’s anti-corruption agency announced on Wednesday that a former Communist Party secretary of Hangzhou’s technological cluster had been removed from the party, five months after saying he was being probed for major legal infractions.

The news: The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said that following an investigation, it found that Zhou Jiangyong “supported the disorderly expansion of capital”, “illegally accepted huge amounts of property in collaboration with relatives” and “engaged in familial corruption”.

  • It didn’t go into detail about Zhou’s alleged offences or name any of the firms involved. Zhou was unavailable for comment.
  • According to the CCDI, Zhou has been expelled from the party and will be prosecuted soon as a result of the investigation.

What happened: In August, the commission reported that Zhou was being investigated for “severe violations of discipline and laws.”

  • Thousands of officials in Hangzhou were urged to do self-examinations and settle any business-related conflicts of interest involving themselves or families a few days later.
  • Last week, CCTV aired a documentary saying that Zhou used his position to assist his brother’s businesses, from which the duo unlawfully benefitted, including receiving bribes.
  • It also spoke with Zhou, who admitted to the wrongdoings but did not name any companies.
  • The Financial Times reported on Friday that public data and sources linked Hangzhou-based fintech company Ant Group to the corruption investigation.
  • A request for comment on the report was not returned by Ant Group.
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