One of the largest telecommunications firms in China, already shaking under the pressure of the Chinese regime’s wide-reaching, anti-corruption campaign, has been implicated in a slew of transgressions, according to a recent report—bribes, corruption, and widespread sexual favors are among the findings of an official investigation carried out last December.
For top executives at China Unicom, ranked as the world’s third-largest telecommunications provider, nepotism and bribery are par the course, the report states.
On Feb. 5, a report detailing the many instances of corruption at China Unicom was published on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Communist Party’s anti-corruption agency
China state-run media was quick to point out what should be read from the anti-graft agency’s announcement.
“Trade of sex for favors must be rampant within China Unicom,” stated an opinion article published by People’s Net, the online publication of regime mouthpiece People’s Daily, on Feb. 6.
“It is by no means a stretch to predict that more ‘tigers’ and ‘flies’ within China Unicom are going to be purged,” the report reads. “These soon-to-be purged individuals will surely be implicated in these sexual and financial scandals.”
“Tigers” and “flies” in Chinese political jargon refers to high- and low- ranking corrupt officials in the Communist Party.
The anti-corruption agency’s report was first presented to Chang Xiaobing, chair of China Unicom, by Li Xiaohong, who heads the anti-graft task force that set up shop in the company, and Ning Yanling, director of the agency’s 8th Central Inspection Unit.
In December 2014, two high-ranking China Unicom executives—Zong Xinhua, general manager of IT and e-commerce, and Zhang Zhijiang, network construction general manager—were sacked from their positions for graft and “violations of discipline.” In Chinese communist political jargon, the phrase “violations of discipline” is understood to be a synonym for corruption.
Another opinion article published the same day on People’s Net drew attention to another part of the anti-graft report on China Unicom.
“The inspection team has gotten leads on some problems and they have been passed on to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Organization Department, and the Assets Supervision and Administration Commission with the State Council,” the anti-corruption agency’s report reads.
“A ‘tiger’ from China Unicom is going to fall,” the People’s Net article claims. “The only question is whether a ‘greater tiger’ is going to fall immediately afterward.”
Tang Jingyuan, an independent political analyst, said the report is directed at Jiang Mianheng, son of former Party leader Jiang Zemin.
“Jiang Mianheng controls China Unicom behind the scenes,” Tang said in an interview with New York-based New Tang Dynasty Television. “The investigation into Zhang Zhijiang and the sudden disappearance of Yan Po all hinted at the fact that China Unicom would be hit with a major shock, exposing many dark secrets.”
Yan Po was general manager of China Unicom’s international section. Epoch Times previously reported that he fled China.
“Financial misconduct related to Jiang Mianheng will soon be exposed as well,” Tang said. “Any accusation against Jiang Mianheng is another step in the campaign against Jiang Zemin.”
Tang’s analysis has precedent in the investigation and downfall of former Chinese security czar Zhou Yongkang, an ally of Jiang Zemin.
“Before Zhou Yongkang was removed,” Tang said, “his son, Zhou Bin, was targeted first.”
The younger Zhou, a wealthy businessman, was arrested in July 2014 for illegal business practices. The following month, his father was placed under investigation.