China probes former carmaking executive for "disciplinary violations"

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - China's anti-corruption watchdog said on Thursday it was investigating Fan Zhong, a former senior executive at Dongfeng Motor Group Co, the local venture partner of Peugeot SA and Nissan Motor Co, for alleged "serious disciplinary violations".

Fan, a former deputy secretary of the Communist Party committee at the company, is the latest target of Beijing's corruption investigation into state-owned Dongfeng, which also owns a carmaking venture with Honda Motor Co Ltd.

The investigation is part of China's intensifying anti-corruption drive led by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), with President Xi Jinping vowing to clean up the government and the corporate sector.

A Dongfeng spokeswoman confirmed Fan, who had also headed the automaker's workers' union, was being investigated but declined to comment further. Fan, who is retired, could not be reached.

Dongfeng said last week that Ren Yong, the company's supervisor and vice president of its Nissan venture, was being investigated for suspected corruption.

The CCDI said on Tuesday it was investigating a former top executive at China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd for suspected "serious violations" of the law.

In September, Chinese prosecutors launched a criminal bribery investigation into a former senior executive at FAW Group Corp, a Chinese partner of Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp.

Dongfeng's shares were not traded on Thursday in Hong Kong due to the Christmas holiday.