China Mobile executive under investigation

The probe at a state-owned carrier highlights the problem of corruption in China

A China Mobile executive is being investigated by Chinese authorities for suspected "serious personal violations," the company said Sunday.

China Mobile will watch the situation and make further announcements when appropriate about Zhang Chunjiang, a vice chairman and executive director at China Mobile's listed arm, it said in a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange.

China's official Xinhua news agency earlier reported the probe against Zhang, who also heads the Communist Party council at China Mobile's parent company. There are Communist Party councils at state-owned companies to keep them in line with official policy. China Mobile, one of three major state-owned network operators in China, is the largest in the world by mobile subscribers. Details were not offered in the report or in the company's statement.

Corruption has remained a widespread problem in China, where local media sometimes hesitate to expose graft for fear of government retribution. Earlier this year two Chinese technology news sites briefly disappeared after carrying news reports that linked the son of Chinese president Hu Jintao to a corrupt deal for scanners in Namibia. The reports on the topic had been wiped from the sites when they came back up. Reports on the China Mobile probe have appeared in local media, but only following the Xinhua report.

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