20 October 2018
Guo Zhenxi is suspected to have taken huge bribes by misusing his powers at CCTV. Photo:
Guo Zhenxi is suspected to have taken huge bribes by misusing his powers at CCTV. Photo:

Top CCTV official in anti-graft probe crosshairs

A senior official of China’s state television broadcaster CCTV has been accused of taking 2 billion yuan in bribes, Global People magazine reported Tuesday, in a sign that Beijing is deepening its anti-graft fight. 

Guo Zhenxi, who had served as director of China Central Television’s financial news channel and also as a director of the advertising department of the state broadcaster, is being investigated for suspected bribe-taking, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate said earlier this month.

Guo joined CCTV as a financial reporter in 1992 and was later promoted to deputy chief of advertising in 1998.

Between 2005 and 2009, he served a dual role as both the state broadcaster’s advertising chief and head of its financial news channel.

The official, who is now 49 years in age, is said to have boosted the advertising revenue of the state broadcaster in recent years. China Daily has reported that auctions for CCTV advertising slots reached 9.3 billion yuan in 2009 from 2.6 billion yuan in 2002. And the figure hit 15.9 billion yuan last year.

Guo oversaw two TV programs that are very popular among China’s business circles: a business personality show called Chinese Economic Figures and a consumer rights program titled 315 Gala.

He is said to have utilized the first program to offer media coverage for many companies in Shandong province in return for bribes. The 315 Gala, whose title takes reference from the World Consumer Rights Day on March 15, focuses on disclosing irregular business practices.

There has been speculation that Guo had used 315 Gala to attack some companies in exchange for bribes from others. 

Guo’s fall is linked with the former deputy national police chief Li Dongsheng, who had deep links with CCTV and was also very close to the former security tsar Zhou Yongkang, according to media reports.

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