The chairman of the state-owned China Resources (Holdings) Co. Ltd., Song Lin, has been sacked for “suspected serious violations of discipline and law”, the official Xinhua News Agency reported over the weekend.
Song’s dismissal came after Wang Wenzhi, a reporter of the Economic Information Daily, a newspaper under Xinhua, alleged on his blog last Tuesday that Song was having an extramarital affair with Helen Yang Lijua, a senior investment banker at the Hong Kong office of UBS, and attached photos of the two together.
Wang said Song had pulled strings and arranged for Yang to work in the investment bank, which has business relations with China Resources, so that Yang could help him launder money.
Two days after the exposé, the Commission for Discipline Inspection under the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee came out with a statement saying Song was under investigation for corruption charges. On Saturday Xinhua reported on its Weibo microblog Xinhuashidian that Song had been dismissed as chairman and party boss of China Resources.
In July last year, Wang blogged that China Resources Power (00836.HK), a China Resources subsidiary, had paid an inflated price to acquire Shanxi Jinye Coal and Coking Group, leading to a huge loss of state-owned assets.
The Commission for Discipline Inspection had said it was looking into the allegation, but results of the investigation have yet to be released.
Song is the second high-ranking official who was sacked in the wake of online exposés by journalists in the past year. Liu Tienan, former chief of the National Energy Administration, was expelled from his post in August last year after revelations by a journalist from Caijing magazine prompted discipline authorities to investigate, later finding that he “took advantage of his position to seek profits for others, and both Liu and his family accepted huge amount of bribes”.
Meanwhile, China Resources said in a statement that the group will fully co-operate with the investigation and strive to ensure its normal operation.
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