China’s Pursuit of Fugitive Businessman Guo Wengui Kicks Off Manhattan Caper Worthy of Spy Thriller

Kate O’Keeffe, Aruna Viswanatha and...
For months, Guo, from his self-imposed exile, had been using Twitter to make allegations of corruption against senior Chinese officials and tycoons.

China Vows to Scrap Secret Interrogations of Communist Party Members

Reuters
China’s ruling Communist Party will scrap the practice of secretive interrogations known as “shuanggui”, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday, part of broader reforms of its anti-corruption architecture.

China to Debtors: Pay up or Be Shamed

Keith Bradsher and Ailin Tang
New York Times
Troubled by huge debts run up by big state companies and politically connected local governments, China is taking steps instead to go after the little guys.

China Names New Leaders of Anti-Corruption Agencies at Financial Regulators

South China Morning Post
China’s Communist Party has named new top officials to lead anti-corruption agencies at the country’s banking and insurance regulators as it makes final preparations for a twice-a-decade party congress later this month.

U.S. Confronts China over Suspected Cyberattack as Fugitive Guo Wengui Appears in Washington

Cezary Podkul, Kate O’Keeffe and Aruna...
Washington Post
A suspected Chinese cyberattack on the website of a prominent Washington think tank drew a complaint from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week in a meeting with top Chinese government officials.

High-Level US-China Talks Focus on Immigration, Fugitives

Nike Ching
Voice of America
Shilan Zhao, former wife of fugitive Chinese official Jianjun Qiao, pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges by the U.S. government of conspiring to commit immigration fraud related to the EB5 “investor” visa program.

Communist Party Expels Former High-Flyer Sun Zhengcai in Countdown to Key Congress

Nectar Gan
South China Morning Post
Former political star Sun Zhengcai has been expelled from China’s Communist Party and will face prosecution, state media reported on Friday – two months after his shock downfall and just weeks before a key five-yearly leadership reshuffle.

Fugitive Tycoon Guo Wengui Assailed by Businessman Who Says He Was Framed for Crimes

South China Morning Post
China’s highest profile fugitive, exiled billionaire Guo Wengui, is under attack from a former business partner who claims Guo got him framed for crimes he says he did not commit.

China’s Former Richest Man Now Banned from Hong Kong’s Business World

Sophia Yan
CNBC
Chinese entrepreneur Li Hejun, who briefly held the title of China’s richest man, was just banned from Hong Kong’s business world.A Hong Kong court ruled to disqualify Li from being a director or being involved with the management of any Hong Kong...

More Turmoil for China’s Wanda as Rumors Fly

Variety
China’s Dalian Wanda issued a stern denial Monday following rumors that company chairman Wang Jianlin had been detained by authorities as he attempted to fly abroad. The unsubstantiated reports caused stocks in Wanda’s hotel group to swoon. “Rumors...

China Puts Retired Head of State News Agency under Investigation for Graft

South China Morning Post
The retired former head ofa state-run Chinese news agency has been put under investigation for suspected graft, the ruling Communist Party’s anti-corruption watchdog said on Wednesday. 

A Missing Tycoon’s Links to China’s Troubled Dalian Wanda

New York Times
Dalian Wanda, the Chinese conglomerate that owns the AMC movie theater chain and nurtures Hollywood ambitions, has sometimes turned to the secretive business network of a politically connected Chinese billionaire in times of need. Now both Wanda and...

The Trump Organization Has Been Granted Trademarks in Macau, China’s Casino Hub

Fortune
A company linked to U.S. President Donald Trump has been granted approval from the Chinese territory of Macau for additional trademarks, including casino services, to develop the “Trump” brand in the world’s biggest gambling center.

Former Political Star in China Is Under Party Investigation

New York Times
The Chinese Communist Party said on Monday that Sun Zhengcai, a high-flying politician who had been seen as a potential future premier, was under investigation over suspected “grave violations of discipline,” ending his career and raising the stakes...

Sinica Podcast

07.19.17

Guo Wengui: The Extraordinary Tale of a Chinese Billionaire Turned Dissident

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more
The life and times of Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui reads much like an epic play, so it is fitting that we have included with this podcast a dramatis personæ to explain the many characters in Guo’s story. Scroll to the bottom, below the...

Chinese Labor Activist Targeted over ‘Ivanka Trump Supplier Probe’

South China Morning Post
Hua Haifeng believes police arrested him and took a special interest in his work after he began investigating factories supplying Trump’s clothing brand

China’s Top Graft Buster Attacks ‘Unhealthy’ Political Culture

Reuters
China’s top graft-buster launched a scathing attack on the ruling Communist Party’s members on Monday, writing that party political culture remained ‘unhealthy’ and governance weak even after five years of renewed effort to fight the problem.

Fugitive Chinese Tycoon ‘Snoops on Middle Eastern Royal Families’ in Leaked Phone Messages

Nectar Gan
South China Morning Post
Recordings of what appear to be phone voice messages left by fugitive Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui requesting information about powerful royal family members in the Middle East and other international public figures have emerged online.

Guo Wengui Told Niece and Other Executives to Fraudulently Obtain Loans, Court Hears

Jun Mai
South China Morning Post
The niece of exiled tycoon Guo Wengui was one of three executives he instructed to use fake documents to obtain loans for his Henan real estate firm, a court in central China heard on Wednesday.

China Attacks Tycoon Guo for Client Leaks at HNA Group: Xinhua

Reuters
Exiled Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui is suspected of obtaining confidential client data of aviation-to-financial services conglomerate HNA from air traffic control and airline staff, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing Chinese police.

China Invites Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to Visit Beijing

Bloomberg
Details of the possible trip by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, both of whom have official jobs in the White House, were still under discussion, according to a U.S. official and a Chinese official who asked not to be identified. The visit may also...

Beijing Is Investigating Some of China’s Top Overseas Deal Makers

Wall Street Journal
China’s banking regulator is conducting a sweeping check on the borrowings of some of the country’s top overseas deal makers, according to people with knowledge of the matter, in one of the most forceful attempts yet to get a grip on runaway debt.

China Accuses 2 More Provinces Of Faking Data

Financial Times
China’s anti-corruption watchdog has highlighted fake economic data in the Northern provinces of Inner Mongolia and Jilin, in the country’s grain heartland.

World Asia China Cranks Up Heat on Exiled Tycoon Guo Wengui

Wall Street Journal
Beijing airs allegations involving whistleblowing businessman living in New York as subordinates are tried for fraud in unusually open proceedings.

Ivanka Trump’s Firm Seeks New Trademarks in China, Reviving Ethical Concerns

CNN
A trove of Chinese trademark applications filed by Ivanka Trump’s namesake business is focusing attention once again on the ethical complications presented by the Trump family’s business ties.

Activists Investigating Ivanka Trump’s China Shoe Factory Detained or Missing

Guardian
A labor activist working undercover investigating abuses at a Chinese factory that makes Ivanka Trump shoes has been detained by police and two others are missing, raising concerns the company’s ties to the U.S. president’s family may have led to...

Senate Democrats Ask Trump for Answers on China Trademarks

Voice of America
A group of Senate Democrats has sent a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump requesting information about a raft of trademark approvals from China this year that they say may violate the U.S. Constitution’s ban on gifts from foreign governments.

Trump Adds Another Chinese Trademark to His Portfolio

New York Times
China has granted President Trump preliminary approval for another trademark in apparel, expanding business interests that have already generated criticism over potential conflicts.

Kushner Company a No-Show at China Visa Event After Ethics Uproar

TRACY CONNOR
NBC News
Richard Painter, who was an ethics attorney for President George W. Bush, told NBC News last week that Saturday’s meeting in Shenzhen came “very, very close to solicitation of a bribe” and amounted to “corruption, pure and simple.”

Sinica Podcast

05.12.17

What It Takes to Be a Good China-Watcher

Kaiser Kuo & Bill Bishop from Sinica Podcast
China-watching isn’t what it used to be. Not too long ago, the field of international China studies was dominated by a few male Westerners with an encyclopedic knowledge of China, but with surprisingly little experience living in the country or...

The Princeling in the West Wing

JILL ABRAMSON
New York Times
Over the weekend, there was the unseemly spectacle of Jared Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer, hawking golden visas to connected Chinese investors if they would put $500,000 into one of the Kushners’ real estate projects in Jersey City.

All Mapped Out: How China’s Charting Its Course as a Superpower

Daily Beast
In February, the French daily Le Monde published a map reportedly circulated by the Chinese military. It showed the People’s Republic in the center of the globe with all else shrinking away toward the edges: “The world turned upside down for anyone...

Books

04.05.17

China’s Crony Capitalism

Minxin Pei
When Deng Xiaoping launched China on the path to economic reform in the late 1970s, he vowed to build “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” More than three decades later, China’s efforts to modernize have yielded something very different from the working people’s paradise Deng envisioned: an incipient kleptocracy, characterized by endemic corruption, soaring income inequality, and growing social tensions. China’s Crony Capitalism traces the origins of China’s present-day troubles to the series of incomplete reforms from the post-Tiananmen era that decentralized the control of public property without clarifying its ownership.Beginning in the 1990s, changes in the control and ownership rights of state-owned assets allowed well-connected government officials and businessmen to amass huge fortunes through the systematic looting of state-owned property—in particular land, natural resources, and assets in state-run enterprises. Mustering compelling evidence from over two hundred corruption cases involving government and law enforcement officials, private businessmen, and organized crime members, Minxin Pei shows how collusion among elites has spawned an illicit market for power inside the party-state, in which bribes and official appointments are surreptitiously but routinely traded. This system of crony capitalism has created a legacy of criminality and entrenched privilege that will make any movement toward democracy difficult and disorderly.Rejecting conventional platitudes about the resilience of Chinese Communist Party rule, Pei gathers unambiguous evidence that beneath China’s facade of ever-expanding prosperity and power lies a Leninist state in an advanced stage of decay. —Harvard University Press{chop}

How China’s Insatiable Demand for Timber Threatens Congo’s Rainforests

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
In this episode, award-winning Shanghai-based environmental journalist Shi Yi joins Eric and Cobus to discuss the emerging crisis over the illegal trade of Congolese bloodwood. She recently reported on how surging demand in China is fueling...

Conversation

01.18.17

U.S.-China Flashpoints in the Age of Trump

Zha Daojiong, Isaac Stone Fish & more
Over the past year, Donald Trump has vowed to “utterly destroy” ISIS, considered lifting sanctions on Russia, promised to cancel the Paris climate agreement and “dismantle” the Iran nuclear deal. But many of his most inflammatory statements are...

US University Admissions Officers Courted with Subsidized Trips to China

Coco Feng and Liao Yuanxin
Reports that Chinese education agencies buy US college admissions staff trips to China have fueled speculation that bribery is part of the recruitment process

JPMorgan Chase Paying $264 Million to Settle Allegations of Nepotism in China

Jim Zarroli
NPR
The bank isn't being formally charged, but by agreeing to pay the fines, it brings a three-year investigation by the U.S. government to a close...

U.S. Returns Chinese Fugitive After 13 Years on the Run

James Areddy
Wall Street Journal
The U.S. government sent back to China a former official long wanted on corruption charges, in an act hailed by Beijing as a major diplomatic success

Unswayed by Extraordinary Public Outcry, China Executes Nail Gun Killer

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
China sends messsage that ordinary people can’t take the law into their own hands, and the Communist Party is simply not going be swayed by a public outcry.

And the Award for ‘Best Corruption Apology by a Chinese Official’ Goes To…

Zheping Huang
Quartz
The winner so far is Li Chuncheng, former deputy party chief of Sichuan province, who is now serving 13 years’ jail time for abusing power and bribery

China Anti-Corruption Campaign Backfires

Hudson Lockett
Financial Times
Xi Jinping drive to cleanse Communist party of graft tarnishes its image

Media

09.29.16

How to Fix China’s Crooked Congress

Thomas Kellogg
Nearly four years into Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, Chinese citizens could be forgiven if their eyes glaze over at the news of yet another high official’s fall from grace. But even the most jaded likely could not ignore...

Mother’s Killing of 4 Children Reveals Cracks in Anti-Poverty Drive

Li Rongde, Xiao Hui, Huang Ziyi, and...
Corruption, red tape has led to most vulnerable citizens receiving little help

Chinese Business’ Complicated Role in Kenyan Corruption

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
One of the many simple, widely-believed narratives about the Chinese in Africa is that Chinese businesses fuel corruption across the continent. Chinese corporate corruption in Africa is well documented, from allegations of paying off corrupt...

China Says It Has Netted One-Third of Top Overseas Graft Suspects

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
Over the past two years, the commission has returned to China 1,915 people from more than 70 countries.

China Should Let Soccer Fans Gamble

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
To save football from corruption, the betting should no longer be illicit...

Survey: Indian Firms Best, China Worst on Transparency

New York Times
The report highlighted the urgent need for big multinational companies to do more to fight corruption.

Nephew of China’s Former Domestic Security Tsar Jailed for Graft

Megha Rajagopalan
Channel NewsAsia
Zhou’s family has been ensnared in President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption, a broad campaign that has felled officials at all levels of government including many of Xi’s top political opponents.

China Steps up Panama Papers Censorship after Leaders' Relatives Named

Tom Phillips
Guardian
It's dangerous for higher leaders regarding internal party credibility as much as the broader public...

Conversation

04.06.16

China in the Panama Papers

Andrew J. Nathan, Bill Bishop & more
The overseas wealth of several relatives of senior Chinese leaders has come to light in an International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) report, part of the analysis by a group of media outlets of more than 11 million documents leaked...

China's Elite—including Xi Jinping—Are Linked to Offshore Deals That Hid Millions of Dollars

Zheping Huang
Quartz
At least eight top Chinese officials are implicated according to the leaked Panama Papers.

Caixin Media

03.23.16

Fall of Shanghai’s Utilities Chief Unravels Web of Corruption

A graft probe into the head of a state-run utilities firm in Shanghai put investigators on the trail of two top local government officials, people with knowledge of the matter say.Feng Jun, the former general manager of State Grid Shanghai Electric...

Caixin Media

02.29.16

Former Energy Official Says Police Tortured Him into Confessing

A former deputy director of National Energy Administration (NEA) on trial for taking bribes has pleaded not guilty because he says the charges are based on a false confession that was extracted via torture and intimidation, according to a person who...

Media

01.29.16

‘I Don't Want to Think About Activating Change’

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
In 2012, The New York Times published a groundbreaking investigative report showing that the family of Wen Jiabao, China’s then-prime minister, possessed wealth in excess of $2.7 billion. In response, the Chinese government blocked the Times’...

Viewpoint

01.28.16

The Trouble with Hong Kong’s Chief Executives

Denise Y. Ho & Alyssa King
On January 14, the trial of Sir Donald Tsang, Hong Kong’s former chief executive who served from 2005 to 2012, was set for January 3 of 2017. This past December, Tsang pleaded not guilty to two counts of misconduct in public office, charges on which...

Infographics

01.21.16

Visualizing China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

“Catching Tigers and Flies” is ChinaFile’s interactive tool for tracking and, we hope, better understanding the massive campaign against corruption that China’s President, Xi Jinping, launched shortly after he came to power in late 2012. It is designed to give users a sense of the scope and character of the anti-corruption campaign by graphically rendering information about more than 1,500 of its targets whose cases have been publicly announced in official Chinese sources. *ChinaFile updated the database for this tool through December 31, 2016. We hope to refresh it and continuing updating it in the spring of 2017. If you would like to be notified when we refresh the tool, please e-mail editors@chinafile.com

Wang Qishan, China’s Anti-Corruption Tsar

Jamil Anderlini
Financial Times
The anti-corruption drive has been the central policy of this administration and its duration and severity have surprised almost everyone, not least the bureaucrats who have been its primary targets.

China Vows to Keep High Pressure on Corruption

Hua Xia
Xinhua
The Communist Party of China will maintain a heavy-handed approach against corruption, “with unabated forces and unchanging rhythm.”

Caixin Media

01.04.16

How a Beijing Traffic Cop Lined His Pockets

After rising from beat cop to Beijing traffic manager, Song Jianguo used his position to trade favors for nearly 24 million yuan in cash and gold

Monthly Data Details China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

Hudson Lockett
China Economic Review
Data “supports the hypothesis that the pace of the corruption crackdown has slowed in quantity, but that the investigators are having more success in gaining prosecutions.”