BEIJING Dec 2 China Southern Airlines
said it reported four middle-ranking
executives to authorities after an internal audit uncovered
irregularities as China steps up its anti-corruption campaign.
A spokesman for China's biggest airline by fleet size
declined to identify the executives, now under investigation by
the police. The spokesman told Reuters on Monday he couldn't
comment on the nature of the irregularities.
The airline's comments came after China's official Xinhua
news agency reported on Nov. 30 that as many as 10 executives at
China Southern were taken away by police last week as part of
the anti-graft drive. China Southern's spokesman told Reuters on
Monday only four company executives are currently under
China's new leadership has made fighting corruption a top
theme and has vowed to pursue what it called high-flying
"tigers" as well as "flies" to assuage rising public anger over
the scale of graft in the world's second-biggest economy.
The Xinhua report on China Southern identified executives
involved in sales and marketing positions as being the subject
of the probe. China Southern's spokesman declined to name any of
those involved nor comment on their positions.
The anti-corruption campaign has led to the detention of
some senior government officials as well as senior executives in
major state firms, including PetroChina Co Ltd
Last month COSCO Holdings, China's largest bulk shipping
firm, said that company vice president Xu Minjie was placed
"under investigation by the relevant authorities", phrasing used
in China to describe corruption investigations.
China Southern's Hong Kong-listed shares slipped 0.65
percent in early afternoon trade, trailing a 0.11 percent gain
in the broader market.
(Reporting by Fang Yan and Matthew Miller; Editing by Kenneth