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POLITICS & LAW

By Wei Yiyang and Zhao Runhua / May 20, 2019 04:03 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

We now know more about the bribery case against former JP Morgan Securities (JPMS) managing director Catherine Leung Kar-cheung – and who she was allegedly trying to bribe.

Leung offered a job to the son of Hong Jingnan, the former chairman of Hong Kong-listed logistics company Kerry Logistics Network, in exchange for giving JPMS the opportunity to work on Kerry’s IPO, according to materials released during a Monday trial. Hong was also a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, China's top political advisory body.

Previously, Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) accused Leung of job-for-IPO bribery, but did not specify the company or the chairman.

Kerry Logistics went public in Hong Kong in December 2013, raising nearly 2 billion yuan ($289.31 million).

Related: Former JP Morgan Banker Charged With Bribery in Hong Kong

 

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POLITICS & LAW

By Wang Mengyao and Ren Qiuyu / May 16, 2019 12:49 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC Photo

Photo: IC Photo

China’s Copyright Law is set to be revised for the first time in almost a decade.

The revision, which was on the agenda at a meeting of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference this week, is expected to begin this year.

Intellectual property experts told Caixin the revision must address challenges brought by the rapid development of new technologies and the internet.

China’s existing Copyright Law came into effect in 1990. Amendments followed in 2001 and 2010, but many experts were dissatisfied with the depth of the 2010 changes. The basic rules have changed little in almost two decades. Two rounds of draft reforms emerged in 2012 and 2014, but they were not adopted, and progress since has been slow.

Now, a third amendment is on the horizon, with China’s top political advisory body discussing the Copyright Law at its bimonthly session this week. The law is one of 13 slated to be revised and submitted to the National People’s Congress this year.

Professor Zhang Weijun, an intellectual property expert at Tongji University’s School of Law, said the new revision must address the rise of the internet and proliferation of new technologies, which are major challenges to protecting copyright. A Supreme People’s Court source told Caixin that copyright cases account for 70% of intellectual property matters that come before the court.

Related: China Raises Top Fine for Trademark Infringement, Tightens Rules on ‘Squatting’

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By Huang Yixin, Shan Yuxiao and Han Wei / May 15, 2019 02:42 AM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Geng Wanxi, a 70-year-old man who was jailed for five years on a fraud charge, is seeking 1.6 million yuan ($231,805) in state compensation for wrongful conviction more than 30 years ago, although he failed in his first attempt.

Geng submitted his case to the high court in Jiangsu province Tuesday, seeking the overturn of a lower court’s decision to reject his compensation demand. The lower court said China’s State Compensation Law is not applicable in Geng’s case as it was enacted after his conviction.

Geng was found guilty of fraud in 1986 in a financial dispute related to a canned oranges business. Geng insisted his innocence and alleged his case was wrongfully handled amid China’s aggressive national campaign to crack down on crime.

It took 32 years for Geng’s appeal to overturn his conviction in June 2018. Geng then filed a compensation case with the Intermediate Court of Yancheng in Jiangsu.

China’s State Compensation Law was enacted in 1995 and is not retroactive to previous cases, according to the Yancheng court.

But Geng and his lawyer argued the law should be applicable to Geng’s case as his wrongful conviction wasn’t overturned until last year.

Related: Top Chinese Court Reveals 819 Defendants Were Found Not Guilty Nationwide Last Year
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By Zhang Yu and Ren Qiuyu / May 14, 2019 06:54 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Another two executives from an affiliate of Fuxing Group, a Shanghai-based private equity firm, face arrest in the company’s spiraling downfall that began last summer.

Prosecutors in Shanghai announced Friday that they had approved the arrest of two people surnamed Wei and Zhang, who serve as general manager and deputy general manager of the global finance department of Fuxing affiliate Shanghai Yilong. They have been accused of selling the public so-called “wealth management” products, which Fuxing was unable to repay, according to police investigations last year.

This is the second round of approved arrests after it was announced last week that prosecutors would arrest five executives, including four vice presidents of Fuxing and president of Shanghai Yilong.

Related: Private Equity Firm Fuxing Mired in $2.9 Billion Black Hole


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By Zhao Runhua and Lin Yunshi / May 14, 2019 06:28 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

A key state department that spearheads and facilitates national innovation has announced a major personnel shift.

Wang Xi, a materials scientist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has replaced 61-year-old Zhang Jianguo as a vice minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The 52-year-old Wang was elected to the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2009 as the youngest new member that year. He graduated from Tsinghua University’s department of physics in 1987.

Related: China Revamps Top National Technology Strategy Body
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By Zhao Runhua / May 10, 2019 06:05 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: State Oceanic Administration

Photo: State Oceanic Administration

Prosecutors have formally filed charges against former Interpol president Meng Hongwei at a Tianjin court for allegedly taking advantage of his official positions to acquire what it called an “huge amount” of bribes, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), China’s top prosecutor, announced Friday.

Prosecutors have informed Meng about his rights, as well as heard Meng and his lawyer’s opinions, SPP said.

In April, the top prosecutor called for Meng’s arrest on suspicion of bribery.

Related: Top Chinese Prosecutor Says It Ordered Former Interpol President’s Arrest

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By Isabelle Li / May 09, 2019 07:21 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC Photo

Photo: IC Photo

Another so-called “tiger” has fallen from grace in the central government’s sweeping anti-corruption campaign.

Qin Guangrong, former Communist Party chief of Southwest China’s Yunnan province, is now under investigation on suspicion of “serious violations of laws and discipline” after giving himself up to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the ruling party’s top anti-graft watchdog announced late Thursday.

The 68-year-old former provincial head worked in the government of his home province of Hunan for over two decades before transferring to Yunnan in 1999. Qin was made Yunnan’s governor in 2007 before being promoted in 2011 to provincial party secretary, the de facto leader of the province. He remained in that position until October 2014.

Qin’s predecessor, Bai Enpei, who served as Yunnan’s party chief from 2001 to 2011, was sentenced in 2016 to death with two years reprieve for taking bribes and possessing a large amount of assets that could not be accounted for.

Related: Is Taking a 100 Million Yuan Bribe the New Ticket to a Life Sentence in China?

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By Zhao Runhua / May 06, 2019 05:23 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC Photo

Photo: IC Photo

A Chinese delegation is preparing to travel to the U.S. for the next round of trade talks, according to foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, the state-run People’s Daily reported Monday.

Earlier the same day, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened China with higher tariffs via his Twitter account, saying that China’s attempts to re-negotiate were impacting the progress of the talks. The tweets raised concerns over whether the next trade talk, originally scheduled for May 8 in the U.S., would still continue as planned.

Geng said the U.S. had threatened China “several times” with higher tariffs. Meanwhile, he said, China’s position on the issue has “always” been very clear, and the U.S. knows it “very well."

Geng said that the most “urgent” issue at the moment is the two sides’ joint effort towards coming to a "win-win agreement."

Geng said China is still seeking more information regarding the next talk. Geng didn’t specify who will travel to the U.S. on behalf of China.

See more of our coverage of U.S.-China trade here. 


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By Wu Gang / May 05, 2019 09:05 PM / Politics & Law

A businessman who allegedly colluded with the disgraced former head of Shaanxi province has been taken away to “assist authorities’ investigation,” Caixin has learned.

Businessman Yu Wei allegedly used his ties to politician Zhao Zhengyong when Zhao was a senior official of Shaanxi province, to gain profits through business cooperation with state-owned Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum (Group) Co. Ltd., one of China’s biggest oil refining companies, multiple sources close to the matter told Caixin.

Zhao Zhengyong became a senior official in Shaanxi in 2001 and was promoted to governor of the province in 2010 and served as the provincial Communist Party chief from 2012 to 2016. He was put under corruption investigation by the party on Jan. 15, 2019.

Yu allegedly made more than 100 million yuan ($15 million) in a joint venture his company formed with Yanchang in 2012, sources said.

Yu and Zhao were childhood friends through their families in Ma’anshan, Anhui province.

Also read: Exclusive: Ex-Big Oil Bosses Aid Provincial Chief Investigation

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By Zhao Runhua / Apr 29, 2019 06:38 PM / Politics & Law

Qian Yin'an

Qian Yin'an

China’s corruption watchdog recently expelled another high-level regional leader from the Communist Party and removed him from posts for suspicion of corruption.

According to an official statement released on Monday, Qian Yin'an, former Communist Party secretary of northwestern China’s Shaanxi province, “seriously violated” Communist Party discipline by taking advantage of his official positions to acquire personal gains. Qian “refused to accept the Communist Party’s education and rescue,” and has “no political awareness at all,” said the statement.

Particularly, the statement said, the official frequently participated in gambling activities — cards and mahjong — with owners of private enterprises. In such cases, as people familiar with China's officialdom say, businessmen would intentionally lose money to officials to bribe them.

The size of Qian’s alleged bribery is unknown. His corruption case is still under investigation.

Related: Former Guizhou Governor Gets 20 Years in Prison and $26 Million in Fines for Corruption

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By Zheng Lichun and Zhao Runhua / Apr 25, 2019 04:02 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC Photo

Photo: IC Photo

The ex-head of an electric-vehicle company with close ties to appliance giant Gree has been detained — but it’s unclear where he’s being held, or by whom.

The EV company, Yinlong Energy, confirmed publicly on Thursday that former President Sun Guohua is “being detained.”

Sun and partner Wei Yincang had a falling out with the company last year, with Yinlong accusing the two of embezzlement and abusing government subsidies. The company even sued the two for misappropriation of more than 1 billion yuan worth of corporate assets.

Wei himself founded Yincang in 2009, but is now in the United States, the company said.

Though a decade old, Yincong became well-known only in 2016 when Gree’s charismatic and powerful chairwoman Dong Mingzhu became a major shareholder of the firm.

Related: Chairman and President Sued Amid Drama at EV Company

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By Xi Danni and Zhao Runhua / Apr 24, 2019 07:50 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC

Photo: IC

A former vice governor of Southwest China’s Guizhou province has been sentenced to 20 years in prison and a 173.5 million yuan ($25.8 million) fine for bribery, embezzlement and insider trading, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Wang Xiaoguang, whose sentence was decided by a court in Chongqing Tuesday, took advantage of his official positions to accept bribes worth over 50 million yuan, and illegally gained 162.69 million yuan by participating in investment activities with confidential information he acquired when serving the government, according to CCTV.

Wang was expelled from the Communist Party and removed from his official posts in September, before being arrested in October.

Related: Corruption Cases Fall by Half After High-Profile Scandals

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By Huang Yuxin, Shan Yuxiao, and Ren Qiuyu / Apr 24, 2019 06:43 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC

Photo: IC

China’s legislators are set to include tightened provisions on gene editing in its new civil code, after a Chinese scientist’s announcement of the world’s first gene-edited babies caused outrage late last year.

The second draft of the civil code’s “personality rights” section, which deals with human integrity and dignity, “increases regulation on medical and scientific research activity related to human genes and human embryos,” the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The draft law, which was discussed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Saturday, also requires approval from an ethics committee as well as the relevant authorities when “developing new drugs, medical devices, or developing new prevention and treatment methods.”

The new regulations come after researcher He Jiankui shocked the world with claims that he had helped create the first gene-edited babies. He’s claim that he deleted a gene in twin embryos, making them immune to HIV, was met with concern over the ethics and safety of gene-editing clinical trials.

While some committee members applauded the new inclusions on Saturday, others argued that such clinical trials should be governed by a separate set of laws and regulations. One standing committee member called for a clearer definition of the functions of the ethics committee.

A final draft of the civil code is set to be submitted to the NPC in March 2020.

Related: Stanford Investigates Faculty Contact With Scientist Who Edited Baby Genes

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By Zhao Runhua / Apr 24, 2019 05:42 PM / Politics & Law

Meng Hongwei delivers a speech in Bali, Indonesia, on Nov. 10, 2016. Photo: IC

Meng Hongwei delivers a speech in Bali, Indonesia, on Nov. 10, 2016. Photo: IC

China’s Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), the country’s top prosecutor, announced on Wednesday that it recently ordered the arrest of Meng Hongwei, former president of Interpol, for suspected bribery.

The announcement comes just weeks after Meng was officially expelled from the Communist Party and removed his official posts on March 27.

Meng, the first Chinese head of Interpol, was reported missing by his wife in October 2018. Days later, the Chinese government said it had put Meng under investigation. This was followed shortly by an Interpol announcement that Meng had resigned.

He has not been seen in public since the announcement.

Related: Update: Missing Interpol Chief Being Probed in China for Corruption

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By Xu Heqian and Zhao Runhua / Apr 23, 2019 07:50 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC

Photo: IC

Han Kuo-yu, a rising political star in Taiwan, said Tuesday that he would be willing to risk his “personal reputation” in order to change Taiwan for the better, leading people familiar with Taiwan politics to believe that he may be planning to run for its top office in 2020.

Han, while massively popular, only won the election for mayor of the island’s southern Kaohsiung city in November. In his Tuesday speech, Han said that only when Taiwan changes can Kaohsiung change.

Insiders say it could harm Han’s reputation if he were to run for top office so soon after his start as mayor, as it is tradition among Taiwan’s political candidates to leave their offices in order to show determination to run in an election. If Han does run, and later steps down, that could create a problem for the Kuomintang (KMT), as it would risk losing Kaohsiung, a city long loyal to its rival Democratic Progressive Party.

Han added that he is “unable” to participate in the forthcoming Kuomintang (KMT) primary for the 2020 top office election under “the current KMT election mechanism,” though he did not give further explanation. KMT’s primary election rules for 2020 have not been set yet.

In response to Han’s statement, Taiwan's richest man and chairman of semiconductor giant Foxconn, Terry Gou, said the KMT should set up rules that would allow for Han to participate in the election. Gou said last Wednesday that he plans to participate in the KMT primary.

Related: Could Foxconn Founder Terry Gou be Taiwan’s Next Leader?

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By Jia Qiantong and Ren Qiuyu / Apr 22, 2019 06:11 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC

Photo: IC

Shanghai plans to phase out its toll booths by December, as part of a national push to cut highway congestion.

Toll booths are major bottlenecks, especially during public holidays, Xie Feng, director of Shanghai’s city transport authority, told a state-owned radio station Sunday. Toll stations on cross-province expressways will be replaced entirely by electronic toll collection systems that don’t require cars to stop, by the end of this year, Xie said.

The municipality’s toll collection system will get software and hardware upgrades by the end of October, before the physical toll stations are demolished by the end of December.

Shanghai also hopes to introduce inter-provincial bus networks to boost public transport connectivity in the surrounding Yangtze River Delta region, Xie said.

Related: Gallery: Shanghai Auto Show’s High-Tech Wheels

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By Chen Hao, Shen Fan, Zhao Runhua and Tanner Brown / Apr 22, 2019 04:32 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Earlier this month, when a migrant worker in Guangdong saw a police car approaching his construction site, he said to himself, “They must be coming for me.”

He was right.

They had come for him not because he was an illegal migrant worker. They had come because of the WeChat account he had set up in 2017, and the content he had posted about his hometown, which is located a thousand miles away in Yunnan province.

That WeChat content was an outpouring of the worker’s anger at what he called the “corruption,” “absence of rule of law,” and the general “dirtiness” of his Yunnan hometown, called Zhenxiong.

The Zhenxiong police had traveled this great distance, two years after the man’s social media postings, to detain him for his "uncouth" behavior, and to bring him back to Zhenxiong.

The worker — whose name is not being used to protect his identity — said the initial spark that set him off was when, in 2017, in Zhenxiong, a person rode a motorbike across fresh paint on a road, and he was stopped and beaten by local authorities.

The man heard about this incident, and his resentment boiled over. So he set up a WeChat account, which he called “Zhenxiong Micro News,” where he weighed in on the local area and its problems. He also uploaded lyrics of a song that criticized local authorities.

And now, two years later, he was brought back to Zhenxiong, and detained for two weeks, and then released. He later told Caixin that police asked whether anyone had paid him to post the content, and demanded him to explain what he meant by calling Zhenxiong “dirty.” In something that could have come out of Monty Python, the police even pleaded with him to see “the good aspects” of the area, he said.

It is not clear why the police traveled 1,000 miles, two years after the critical posts, to arrest the worker.

But the man had some new complaints to pile onto the local authorities.

“They don’t manage staff (who misbehave), but traveled across provinces to arrest me. Not solving problems but ‘solving’ us who find the problems. That’s how they’ve always done it,” adding that he would sue the government.

Related: Migrant Children Face Barriers Accessing Health Care in Most Major Cities

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By Zhao Runhua and Zhou Tailai / Apr 17, 2019 07:24 PM / Politics & Law

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment. Photo: IC

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment. Photo: IC

China is pushing to restore morale at a prominent science institute after a longtime leader of the organization was placed under investigation for suspected corruption.

Meng Wei was head of the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences for 15 years, during which he turned an important water pollution project into a tool for his personal gain, according to an article in a high-profile Communist Party journal.

The journal, China Disciplinary Inspection, encouraged disgruntled staff to put its faith back in the Academy, which is overseen by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE). No one will again be a subject of Meng’s bureaucratic “kingdom,” isolated from laws and the central government, the article said.

Meng’s driver, the journal said, became the Academy’s de facto “deputy head” due to his close relationship with Meng. Younger employees less connected to Meng, sources close to the matter told Caixin, could only “obey” dictates from above and had little opportunity to propose their own ideas.

The article quoted MEE chief Li Ganjie, speaking in an internal meeting, who said staff efforts had been wasted because of Meng’s flawed leadership.

In 2018, Meng was removed from his posts and expelled from the Communist Party under charges of disciplinary violations and corruption.

Related: Environmental Crime Arrests Jumped By Half in 2018

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By Wei Yiyang and Zhao Runhua / Apr 17, 2019 05:10 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: IC

Photo: IC

Taiwan's richest man and chairman of semiconductor giant Foxconn, Terry Gou, announced Wednesday that he will run in the 2020 election for Taiwan’s top office.

When asked earlier in the day if he planned to be a candidate, Gou said he had received instructions from sea goddess Mazu to serve Taiwan’s needs —  words widely interpreted by Chinese media as a positive answer to the question.

Gou later said explicitly that he would participate in the Kuomintang primary, and that he hopes to run next year on behalf of the party.

Mazu, a goddess associated with seafarers, has a long history of being worshipped in southern China and is also a major part of the region's secular identity.

Share prices of Foxconn’s Shanghai-listed subsidiary closed up 10% on Wednesday.

Related: Foxconn Denies Report That Its Chairman Is Stepping Down

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By Zhao Runhua / Apr 17, 2019 12:29 PM / Politics & Law

Screenshot from the Mudanjiang City Public Security Bureau official Weibo account

Screenshot from the Mudanjiang City Public Security Bureau official Weibo account

Mudanjiang, in northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, was once named one of the country’s top 10 livable cities, with green hills in the summer that are blanketed with powdery snow in winter.

But this charm wasn’t enough for one former official.

Cheng Peng, former vice secretary of the Mudanjiang city government, has apparently fled town after hearing that he is wanted for “duty-related crimes” — aka corruption.

But Cheng hasn’t been heard from since Feb. 26, and police suspect he has hightailed it out of town.

Related: The Fall of a Mysterious Private Villa in a Protected Wilderness Area in China

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