China’s anti-corruption watchdog is intensifying its efforts as it investigates yet another business leader. The chairman of Shanghai Industrial Investment, Zhou Jun, is currently being probed by the Shanghai Municipal Commission for Discipline Inspection, which is a branch of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI). This investigation comes after CNN reported that Zhou was suspected of serious violations of discipline and law, commonly referred to as corruption.
Zhou held several positions at various state-owned groups in Hong Kong before resigning recently citing “personal matters,” according to CNN. His company, Shanghai Industrial Investment, deals in infrastructure, property and pharmaceuticals, making him the latest prominent business leader in China to come under investigation by authorities.
This year has seen more than a dozen top executives from diverse sectors such as technology, finance and real estate either disappear or be detained or become subjects of corruption investigations. In addition to Zhang Hongli, a former senior executive vice president at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Chen Shaoyi, founder and CEO of DouYu, other high-profile individuals have also been investigated.
These events have had a significant impact on the business community in China. With growing risks for international consulting firms such as raids or detention of executives reported by CNN, many entrepreneurs are “lying low” or “lying flat” behind these investigations. Fred Hu, head of one of China’s leading investment firms, emphasized the need for China to reform its legal system to protect entrepreneurs from arbitrary political interference and even criminal prosecution.