China Telecom chief resigns amid investigation

Chang Xiaobing Image copyright AFP
Image caption Chang Xiaobing became the chairman of China Telecom in August after serving as the chairman of rival China Unicom for 11 years

The chairman and chief executive of one of China's largest mobile service providers, China Telecom, has stepped down days after authorities said he was under investigation.

The firm said Chang Xiaobing had resigned in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Authorities had announced on Sunday that Mr Chang was being investigated for alleged disciplinary violations.

Several Chinese executives have been embroiled in a crackdown on corruption.

Mr Chang was the latest executive that was reported missing by local media before the country's anti-corruption watchdog - the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection - said he was under investigation.

Top Chinese executives investigated

  • Jiang Jiemin, former chairman of leading energy group China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) jailed for 16 years in October for graft
  • Xu Jianyi, former chairman of top automaker China FAW Group expelled from the ruling Communist Party in August for embezzling funds and taking bribes
  • Shen Hao, former president of financial media group 21st Century jailed for four years last week for extortion and blackmail
  • Cheng Boming, president of China's largest brokerage, CITIC Securities, under investigation in September for alleged trading on insider information

Meanwhile in the filing, China Telecom said president and chief operating officer Yang Jie would take over as chairman and chief executive until a new appointment is made.

State-owned China Telecom is the country's third largest telecom service provider after China Unicom, where 58-year-old Mr Chang was the chairman before he joined China Telecom in August.

There were reports earlier this year that the government was considering merging the two telecom giants.

Many critics have also said that Beijing's anti-corruption drive has more to do with getting executives of leading firms to toe the Communist Party's line.

The company's shares closed down 0.3% on Thursday after news of the management shake-up.

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