Big SOEs Hit By Anti-Corruption Sweep; Xi's Family Sells Assets; Naked Officials Targeted

Probes find new problems at Three Gorges Corp, State Grid and China Southern Power Grid
In two separate statements yesterday, Xinhua said investigations into the China Three Gorges Corporation, and the nation's two largest electricity grid operators - the State Grid Corporation of China and the China Southern Power Grid Company - had uncovered numerous irregularities and possible corruption.

A graft inquiry into Three Gorges was announced in February and its chairman and general manager were replaced.

Following that inquiry, the company said it would begin a review of all officials who had been disciplined within the past five years, Xinhua reported. It had also sealed documents relating to previous contract bids for possible investigation.

Hidden security cameras had been placed in three meeting rooms in different cities where bids were decided in order to prevent corruption and boost transparency.

Which way is the wind blowing? Follow Xi's relatives: As China’s Leader Fights Graft, His Relatives Shed Assets
In January of last year, just after Mr. Xi took power, his older sister and brother-in-law finalized the sale of their 50 percent stake in a Beijing investment company they had set up in partnership with a state-owned bank. According to the billionaire financier Xiao Jianhua, who co-founded the company that bought the stake, the move was part of a continuing effort by the family to exit investments.

They did it “for the family,” Mr. Xiao’s spokeswoman said in a statement.

......Ding Xueliang, a professor of politics at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said party and government officials had told him on a recent trip he took to mainland China that Mr. Xi had told his family to get out of their investments.

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“It is a minimum thing — he must do this,” Mr. Ding said. “If he doesn’t do this, it is very hard for him to convince other families to be more self-disciplined.”

The elite ruling families of China have accumulated billions of dollars in assets, including company shares and real estate, in the past decade as China’s economy has boomed. Many of the investments are in areas such as mining, infrastructure and property that involve the privatization of formerly state-owned assets, including a rare-earth mining company that until recently was partly owned by Mr. Deng.

At least four families among the nine-man Politburo Standing Committee that ruled the country from 2007 to 2012 each owned or controlled documented assets in excess of $150 million, including relatives of Mr. Xi, former Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, Mr. Zhou and Jia Qinglin, the former fourth-ranked party member.

Naked officials are also being reigned in: China's anti-graft drive 'a testament of Xi's power'
More than 1,000 Chinese officials who have sent their spouses and children to live abroad have been targeted as part of Beijing's latest anti-graft campaign. Although not forbidden, the practice also gives corrupt officials a route to send abroad any funds obtained illegally and potentially avoid punishment. According to the state-run news agency Xinhua, some 200 public employees of the southern Guangdong Province have asked their families to return, while 866 agreed to accept demotion, including 9 at mayoral level.

It is the first time a provincial government has taken action against them. Because these government employees remain without their families, they are known colloquially as "naked officials" - a term popular with the public because of its mocking tone.

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