China's Communist Party expels Hangzhou chief over 'disorderly' capital

Zhou Jiangyong was expelled for serious violations of official duties, taking bribes and abuse of power. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - The Communist Party expelled its former chief in the eastern city of Hangzhou - the base of Mr Jack Ma's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd - for serious violations of official duties, taking bribes and abuse of power.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), China's anti-corruption agency, said in a Wednesday (Jan 26) statement that Zhou Jiangyong had supported the "disorderly expansion of capital," a phrase President Xi Jinping has used as part of a sweeping regulatory crackdown on tech companies.

Zhou's case has been transferred to the prosecution department, the statement said.

His expulsion comes a week after being featured in China's Central Television network five-part documentary series, "Zero Tolerance," which coincided with a major CCDI anti-graft meeting.

An episode claimed the former party secretary in the Chinese tech hub allegedly used his influence to help his younger brother's businesses.

One of those companies included a firm controlled by Mr Ma's Ant Group Co as an investor, according to a local media report in August.

The CCDI also announced Wednesday that He Xingxiang, a former vice-president of China Development Bank, was expelled from the Communist Party for "serious" law violations including the misuse of financial approval rights, which had created major risks and "extremely huge losses" for China.

China last year launched a national inspection of financial institutions and regulators, which has so far snared more than 20 officials in the sector.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.