Aug 13, 2021 04:54 AM

Former ICBC Shanghai Branch Head Sentenced to Life

What’s new: The former head of the Shanghai branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (ICBC) was sentenced to life in prison for taking more than 136 million yuan ($21 million) in bribes between 2008 and 2019.

Gu Guoming, 54, was placed under investigation in June 2016, and his bribery trial took place in July 2020. Prosecutors accused Gu of taking advantage of his positions at ICBC, China’s largest state-owned bank, to seek benefits for individuals and companies in obtaining loans and project contracts, a Shanghai court said.

Authorities initially found that Gu had taken bribes worth nearly 5.9 million yuan, and Gu confessed to accepting an additional 131 million yuan of illicit payments, the court said.

The background: In recent years, China has stepped up anti-corruption efforts in the financial sector.

Zhou Wenjie, a member of the Communist Party committee and deputy director of the Shanghai Bureau of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), came under investigation in September 2020 for “serious violations of discipline and law.”

The Shanghai banking sector has been rocked by graft scandals under Zhou’s oversight. At least five top bankers have also come under investigation. Three of the cases are intertwined and are most likely linked to an investigation of former securities chief Liu Shiyu, sources close to the matter told Caixin.

Lu Hong, a deputy head of Gu Guoming’s ICBC branch, has also been put under investigation for alleged graft. The authorities haven’t updated the probe on Zhou or Lu.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full story in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Denise Jia ( and editor Bob Simison (

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