Chang Xiaobing, the chairman of China Telecom Ltd., resigned from his post Wednesday after he was detained and questioned in an anti-corruption probe over the weekend. China Telecom is one of the three main state-owned phone carriers in the country, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
The company said that CEO Yang Jie would take on an additional role as chairman until a permanent successor was found. Chang’s arrest comes as part of an ongoing corruption crackdown, started by President Xi Jinping three years ago. Over 70 high-ranking officials have reportedly been investigated or indicted in the drive so far.
The ruling Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection had announced Chang’s detention, saying he was suspected of "serious violations," a term used for a corruption allegation, AP reported. News of Chang’s detention came in a one-line announcement and did not give further details. Chang was formerly heading China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd., another state-run phone company and took over as chairman of China Telecom in August.
The crackdown on corruption in China has ensnared several high-ranking officials, including Zhou Yongkang, a former public security czar, and Jiang Jiemin, the former chairman of China National Petroleum Corp. Executives from state-owned energy, auto and other companies have been targeted in the crackdown.
The AP report added that executives from local units of China Mobile Ltd., another big telecom operator in the country, have also been targeted.