Head of Chinese state firm under probe found dead

BEIJING • The head of a state-owned Chinese heavy machinery manufacturer was found hanged in his office, amid an investigation by anti-corruption officers into the multibillion-dollar firm, state media said yesterday.

Police believe Mr Wu Shengfu, 51, general manager of China First Heavy Industries (CFHI), killed himself, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

CFHI makes machinery for sectors ranging from nuclear power to petrochemical and automobile. Its Shanghai-listed arm - of which Mr Wu was chairman - has a market capitalisation of 66.8 billion yuan (S$14.8 billion).

Mr Wu's body was found early on Monday at the company's headquarters in the north-eastern city of Qiqihar, Xinhua said.

The ruling Communist Party's feared anti-graft investigators are carrying out a two-month inspection of the company, Chinese news portal thepaper.cn reported, adding that allegations against Mr Wu by whistleblowers had circulated online previously.

President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign has ensnared a long list of senior as well as low-ranking officials, including the country's former security czar Zhou Yongkang, who was sentenced to life in jail in June.

CFHI is one of the 53 enterprises run directly by the central government that are "key to national security and economy", according to its website.

President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign has ensnared a long list of senior as well as low-ranking officials, including the country's former security czar Zhou Yongkang, who was sentenced to life in jail in June.

The drive has also led to a spike in suicides by officials to escape possible criminal proceedings and prevent the seizure of their ill-gotten gains, to the benefit of their families.

Business news outlet Caixin said in January that 50 party and government officials have been publicly declared to have died of "unnatural causes" since 2012.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2015, with the headline 'Head of Chinese state firm under probe found dead'. Print Edition | Subscribe