Chinese official with 22 properties given 11 years for bribes: Media

BEIJING (AFP) - A Chinese court sentenced a city official nicknamed "Property Uncle" for his large property holdings to 11 and a half years' jail on Thursday, domestic media reported.

Cai Bin, a mid-level bureaucrat in the southern city of Guangzhou, was convicted of taking 2.75 million yuan (S$566,000) in bribes.

The court "sentenced him to 11 and a half years in jail and fined him 600,000 yuan", China National Radio reported online.

Cai's wrongdoing surfaced after citizens began posting pictures of his assets, including luxury homes, on the Internet. He was said to have accumulated at least 22 properties.

Ordinary Chinese have increasingly turned to social media to expose government corruption, ending a number of officials' careers.

But official censors ban discussion of top politicians and a wide range of topics deemed sensitive, and have recently launched a campaign against "online rumours".

Another mid-level official - dubbed Brother Watch - was sentenced to 14 years' jail last week after a 2012 photo circulated online of him smiling at the scene of a road accident that killed 36 people.

Web users soon posted a series of photos of Yang Dacai, formerly the work safety boss in northern Shaanxi province, sporting a series of luxury watches.

China's leadership has vowed to crack down on official corruption, warning it could threaten the ruling Communist party.