Date
18 November 2017
An identity card of Zhou Bin, the elder son of Zhou Yongkang. He is said to have used his dad's connections to build a massive business empire. Photo: weibo.com
An identity card of Zhou Bin, the elder son of Zhou Yongkang. He is said to have used his dad's connections to build a massive business empire. Photo: weibo.com

Zhou’s son had finger in many pies, including film production

Zhou Bin, the elder son of China’s disgraced former security chief Zhou Yongkang, was also involved in the film production industry apart from his known businesses such as hydropower, oil and investments, as he benefited from his father’s “Guanxi” network, a media report said.

According to Beijing News, a company named Boshang, established in 2004 by Zhou Bin’s mother-in-law Zhan Minli, had produced two film and television works with legal and political themes.

The Committee of Political Science and Law under the CPC Central Committee once issued a notice in 2006, requiring the party members, officials and cadres to watch Boshang’s film “Courthouse on Horseback”. An industry insider told the newspaper that it is rare for government authorities to issue such a notice for a specific film.

Zhou Bin has been arrested as a suspect in an illegal business on Tuesday. The 42-year-old was detained in August last year after he returned from the United States, news portal Caijing.com reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed source. He could face up to five years in prison under Chinese criminal law.

Zhou Bin and other family members and friends forged ties over the past decade with China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), which the elder Zhou once ran.

Zhongxu solar energy technology Co. Ltd., an important vendor of CNPC which runs electronic systems for oil and gas exploration, production and sales in four oilfields in northern Liaohe, Changqing, Jilin and Xinjiang’s Tarim, is believed to have been controlled by Zhan Minli.

The company won a large deal to supply the retail terminal systems for more than 8,000 CNPC gas stations just five years after its establishment in 2004, beating strong competitors like the HP and IBM, according to earlier reports from Caixin.com.

In addition, Jia Xiaoxia, a North America-based sister-in-law of Zhou Yongkang, was also engaged in CNPC’s oil businesses. According to the Wall Street Journal, Jia worked at CNPC in Canada for nearly a decade. She had previously helped manage CNPC operations in Latin America and spent time working on its business in Sudan. In Canada, she became the public face of the firm, the paper said Tuesday.

She opened a CNPC office in a prime Vancouver spot so that visiting executives from China would have somewhere to visit upon first entering Canada, a former colleague was quoted as saying. Jia bought a top-range Mercedes to ferry them around; and she instructed subordinates to ask Vancouver airport authorities if the Mercedes could drive onto the tarmac to meet arriving executives, according to the report.

The family is reported to have amassed holdings in the petroleum, investment, tourism and media sectors in at least three Chinese cities and provinces where Zhou Yongkang had clout. Public documents are said to indicate that the assets were worth tens of millions of dollars or more.

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