Another business leader in China is being probed by the country’s anti-graft watchdog, in a sign of an ongoing crackdown in the world’s second largest economy.
Zhou Jun, president of state-owned Shanghai Industrial Investment, is under investigation by the Shanghai Municipal Commission for Discipline Inspection, a branch of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), according to a CCDI statement Monday.
The CCDI said Zhou was “suspected of serious violations of discipline and law,” a phrase that is commonly used to refer to corruption. The agency added that he was “undergoing disciplinary review and supervisory investigation,” without elaborating further.
Shanghai Industrial Investment’s business spans infrastructure, property and pharmaceuticals.
Zhou also held posts at several of the state-owned group’s Hong Kong listed subsidiaries, from which he resigned in recent days citing “personal matters.”
Zhou is the latest high-flying executive in China to come under scrutiny by authorities. This year, more than a dozen top executives from sectors including technology, finance and real estate have gone missing, faced detention or been subjected to corruption probes.
Just this month, the CCDI said it was investigating Zhang Hongli, a former senior executive vice president at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
That was followed by a report by Chinese state-owned media outlet Cover News that tech entrepreneur Chen Shaojie had become unreachable, citing unconfirmed reports that he was being investigated. Chen is founder and CEO of DouYu (DOYU), a Chinese live-streaming service backed by Tencent.
The report didn’t say which authorities were behind the possible investigation. A company spokesperson told CNN at the time that its operations remained “normal,” adding that it would announce “any significant news or material activities” in a “timely manner.”
The ongoing crackdown, driven by the ruling Communist Party’s desire for control and its heightened concerns about national security, has continued even as the Chinese economic recovery remains uneven.
The developments have had a chilling effect on the business community in China. Earlier this month, the chief of one of China’s leading investment firms said entrepreneurs were “lying low, or lying flat” against the current backdrop.
Speaking at the Bloomberg New Economy forum, Fred Hu, CEO of Primavera Capital, said China needed to reform its legal system, including the “protection of entrepreneurs from arbitrary political interference, and worse, even prosecution.”