BEIJING, June 2 China's top prosecutor is
investigating a senior executive with state broadcaster CCTV on
suspicion of bribery, the official Xinhua news agency reported,
as the government's anti-corruption campaign intensifies.
The government has cracked down on official corruption and
extravagance in China since President Xi Jinping's appointment
last year. Public flaunting of personal, and often illicit,
wealth had been common and had led to widespread criticism of
the ruling Communist Party.
Xinhua, citing a statement from state prosecutors, said Guo
Zhenxi, CCTV's advertising director and director-general of its
finance and economics channel, had been detained because he was
"suspected of bribery".
The Xinhua report late on Sunday said another official, Tan
Liwu, a producer on CCTV's finance channel, had also been
detained. It gave no other details.
The influential magazine Caixin said Guo had been detained
in the northeastern province of Jilin.
CCTV, which has been pushing its international presence in
recent years, is viewed by the government as an enormously
influential and useful propaganda tool, both at home and abroad.
However, it has also come under criticism in recent years
for some poorly conceived or sourced programmes.
For example, CCTV said last year Chinese property developers
owed as much as 3.8 trillion yuan ($624 billion) in unpaid land
taxes. The tax bureau, while not naming CCTV, said the estimates
were inaccurate and a misreading of tax policy.
While Beijing keeps a tight rein on domestic media, reforms
over the past decade that have allowed greater media
commercialisation and limited increases in editorial
independence, combined with the rise of social media, have
weakened government control.
That has led to periodic crackdowns on Chinese media,
including sacking of staff deemed to have stepped out of line or
who were seen as questioning the Communist Party's wide-ranging
controls and censorship.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Paul Tait)