17 September 2019
Wang Qishan is leading China's massive anticorruption campaign. Photo: Bloomberg
Wang Qishan is leading China's massive anticorruption campaign. Photo: Bloomberg

US seeks details on China antigraft czar for bank-hiring probe

US government officials are seeking information about China’s antigraft czar in their investigation of the hiring of relatives and associates of Chinese government officials by the largest US bank.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission issued a subpoena late last month to JPMorgan Chase & Co. requesting all its communications related to 35 mostly high-ranking Chinese government officials, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The name of Wang Qishan, who is leading China’s unprecedented anticorruption campaign and is considered by some to be the second-most powerful man in the country, was first on the list in the subpoena.

Prosecutors at the US Justice Department have also requested information about Wang, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources.

The request for information regarding some of China’s highest-ranking officials could strain US-China relations, it said.

Previous US requests have unearthed accounts of Chinese government officials lobbying JPMorgan to employ relatives and friends.

Investigators have already focused on the bank’s employment of the son of Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng, who offered to help JPMorgan if it let his son hold on to his job at the bank, according to emails between JPMorgan bankers, the report said.

Gao is also on the list.

US authorities are carrying out a criminal investigation into JPMorgan and other banks under a law that bans companies from bribing foreign government officials.

Regulators aren’t investigating the Chinese officials themselves, and there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Wang, Gao or anyone else on the list.

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