BEIJING, July 25 (Reuters) - An investigation into a celebrity anchorman at state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) has widened to a subsidiary of U.S. public relations company Edelman, the subsidiary said on Friday.
Chinese authorities visited the Beijing office of Pegasus Public Relations Consulting on Thursday, Pegasus said in a statement.
Chief executive Steven Cao was cooperating with the investigation. The company had also launched an internal inquiry, the statement added.
Rui Chenggang, who hosts a financial news programme, was detained earlier this month, the latest CCTV employee to be swept up in an investigation into the network.
Rui, famous for his sometimes nationalistic rhetoric, is known for starting a movement to oust a Starbucks outlet from Beijing’s historic Forbidden City.
He founded Pegasus along with Cao and Howard Hong. Edelman acquired the firm in 2007, but Rui did not sell his minority stake in the firm to Cao until 2010 in a transaction that Edelman said “took longer than expected”. Cao is also the chief executive of Edelman’s China operations.
Several foreign firms have been swept up in the government’s campaign against corruption, including British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC.
Pegasus was also hired by corporate sponsors involved in underwriting CCTV’s presence at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2009 and 2010, Edelman said, without elaborating on who the sponsors were. Rui had moderated panels at the forum.
It is unclear whether Rui is suspected of any crime, and Chinese public security authorities have not made any mention of his case. Rui could not be reached for comment. (Reporting by Megha Rajagopalan; Editing by Angus MacSwan)