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A Chinese court has handed a suspended death sentence to Tian Huiyu, the former president of China Merchants Bank, on charges including bribery and insider trading.

This verdict is part of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s intensified anti-corruption campaign within the financial sector, aiming to tighten control over the economy.



Tian’s sentence, announced by the Intermediate People’s Court in Changde city, Hunan province, includes a two-year reprieve. If he avoids committing serious crimes during this period, the sentence may be reduced to life imprisonment. Besides bribery and insider trading, Tian was also convicted of abusing his positions in state-owned enterprises and leaking inside information.

The court revealed that Tian exploited his access to information, earning over 290 million yuan ($41 million) illegally from the stock market. Additionally, he leaked information that helped others gain more than 8 million yuan ($1.1 million). His roles enabled him to secure loans, jobs, and business deals for individuals and organizations in exchange for bribes exceeding 210 million yuan ($30 million).

With over three decades in China’s major financial institutions, including China Construction Bank and China Cinda Asset Management, Tian had a significant career. In the 1990s, he worked closely with Wang Qishan, a prominent economic figure in China at the time. Tian was appointed head of China Merchants Bank in 2013, where he served as president and Communist Party leader.

Tian’s downfall began in April 2022, when he was removed from his positions. Soon after, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) launched an investigation into his conduct. By October 2022, he was expelled from the Communist Party and subsequently arrested. He faced formal charges four months later, pleading guilty in a public hearing last November.

Since last year, the Communist Party has intensified its scrutiny of the state-owned financial system, investigating or charging over a dozen senior executives. Notable figures include Li Xiaopeng, former chairman of China Everbright Group, and Liu Liange, former chairman of Bank of China. The private sector has also seen significant impacts, with prominent individuals like Bao Fan, a leading tech dealmaker, being investigated. Bao, who disappeared in February 2023, recently resigned from his position at China Renaissance due to health and family reasons.

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