Ex-chairman of China steelmaker under probe

BEIJING • China's anti-corruption agency said it has opened an investigation into the former chairman of major Chinese steelmaker Wuhan Iron and Steel.

Mr Deng Qilin, who was chairman of the firm until June, is alleged to have committed serious violations of discipline, the ruling Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said on its website on Saturday.

The term "disciplinary violations" is commonly used by the Chinese authorities to refer to graft.

China has launched a series of corruption investigations into senior political officials, military figures and executives at state-owned enterprises as part of a wide-ranging campaign by President Xi Jinping to combat graft.

Mr Xi has said that corruption represents a threat to the Communist Party's survival, and he has vowed to go after powerful "tigers" as well as lowly "flies".

Mr Deng had also been secretary-general of the China Iron and Steel Association, an industry body, since 2009, said the CCDI.

Officials from other companies in the steel sector - including Baosteel Group, Guangxi Liuzhou Iron & Steel and the smaller Jiuquan Steel - have also been investigated for disciplinary violations.

At Wuhan Iron and Steel, deputy general manager Sun Wendong was detained by the authorities in April for possible involvement in bribery, the company has said.

The firm is China's fourth-largest steel producer. Along with others in the industry, it has pushed for greater government support for overseas expansion, as they grapple with plunging steel prices and huge overcapacity.

Media reports have suggested mergers of large steel enterprises are likely, saying Wuhan Iron and Steel could be targeted.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2015, with the headline 'Ex-chairman of China steelmaker under probe'. Print Edition | Subscribe