As many as 70 listed companies were involved in China’s anti-corruption investigations last year, with the energy, real estate and finance sectors attracting most scrutiny, the Beijing News reported on Monday.
Around a quarter were in the oil, nonferrous metals and coal industries and both state-owned enterprises and non-state companies were included.
The newspaper said companies were often involved in illegal activities in capital markets, IPOs and reform of SOEs. Sectors most hit by the campaign were characterized by high profits.
Some senior executives were taken away by anti-corruption watchdogs to assist with investigations while others were accused of directly accepting bribes and other illegal activities.
One of the biggest cases was the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation, in which 45 of its executives and employees were investigated, the report said.
In the financial sector, the most recent case is China Minsheng Banking Corp, the country’s biggest private lender. The bank’s president, Mao Xiaofeng, resigned for personal reasons after reportedly being implicated in the corruption case of Ling Jihua, a former senior political adviser.
Mao was said to have offered Ling’s wife a job for three years at Minsheng Financial Leasing.
Chen Zhuolin, chairman and CEO of Hong Kong-listed real estate developer Agile Property, was put under investigation by Kunming People’s Procuratorate and was allegedly involved in an anti-corruption investigation against officials in Yunnan province, according to Chinese financial media Caixin.