August 20, 2013 / 9:39 AM / 4 years ago

Former executive from China Mobile parent under investigation

(Reuters) - A former senior executive from China Mobile Ltd’s (0941.HK) state-owned parent is being investigated for “severe discipline violations,” coming at a time when a slew of investigations is gripping the country’s corporate sector.

Xu Long, who was general manager of China Mobile Communications Corp’s Guangdong office, was taken away by the provincial government’s disciplinary committee on Friday, according to the official China News Service. Xu was also the Communist Party secretary for the company.

“Xu Long has been removed from his posts of China Mobile chairman and general manager, as well as party secretary. He is now under investigation by relevant departments because of alleged severe discipline violations,” China Mobile Communications said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

The Guangdong province’s disciplinary committee was not available for comment, while Xu could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Chinese government is investigating domestic and foreign companies over possible bribery and price-fixing allegations in an effort to clean up the country’s corporate sector. Last week, China’s price regulator said it planned to investigate the petroleum, telecommunications, banking and auto sectors next for possible violations of anti-trust laws.

Several executives and former executives of China Mobile Communications have been investigated by Chinese authorities for graft over the past several years, according to domestic media reports.

    In May, China Mobile Ltd said its parent was also beefing up its internal supervision after a government audit highlighted problems in accounting practices and internal management.

    In investigations also targeted at foreign firms, China has fined companies such as Mead Johnson Nutrition Co MJN.N and Danone SA (DANO.PA) due to price-fixing and anti-competitive practices.

    Chinese police also accused of British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK.L) of bribing Chinese officials and doctors through travel agencies to boost sales illegally and raise the price of its medicines in the country.

    Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee in SINGAPORE; Editing by Matt Driskill and Ryan Woo

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