China’s anti-graft watchdog is increasing its crackdown on corruption by investigating business leaders in the country. Currently, Zhou Jun, the president of Shanghai Industrial Investment, is under investigation by the Shanghai Municipal Commission for Discipline Inspection, a branch of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).
According to CNN, the CCDI stated that Zhou Jun is “suspected of serious violations of discipline and law,” a common reference to corruption. He is currently undergoing disciplinary review and supervisory investigation. Zhou recently resigned from his posts at several of the state-owned group’s Hong Kong listed subsidiaries, citing “personal matters.”
Zhou Jun is just one of many prominent business leaders in China to come under investigation this year. Over a dozen executives from various sectors such as technology, finance, and real estate have faced disappearing, detaining, or corruption investigations.
Shanghai Industrial Investment, where Zhou Jun is the president, has business interests in infrastructure, property, and pharmaceuticals. Earlier this month, the CCDI also announced an investigation into Zhang Hongli, a former senior executive vice president at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
Similar unconfirmed reports have surfaced about the disappearance of tech entrepreneur Chen Shaojie, founder and CEO of DouYu, a Chinese live-streaming service backed by Tencent. International consulting firms are also at risk of being raided or having their executives detained, per CNN.
The increased investigations have had a significant impact on the business community in China. Fred Hu, CEO of Primavera Capital, spoke at the Bloomberg New Economy forum, stating that the current situation has caused entrepreneurs to “lie low, or lying flat.” He emphasized the need for China to reform its legal system to protect entrepreneurs from political interference and prosecution.