Amid a running national anti-corruption probe conducted by the Chinese government, one of the country's top telecom executives is now under investigation, according to several media reports. Chang Xiaobing, chairman of China Telecom, was detained and is suspected of "severe disciplinary violations," the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a statement posted to the website of the Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
References to such disciplinary violations serve as a common euphemism for corruption.
The state-owned China Telecom is one of the largest mobile operators in the country, and Chang has been its chairman only since August. Previously, he was chairman and CEO of rival firm China Unicom, the country's second-largest mobile operator.
The brief statement on Chang issued by the Central Commission for Discipline, an anti-corruption watchdog agency, included a reference to his tenure at China Unicom, the BBC reported. Since the government launched its anti-graft crackdown in 2012 under President Xi Jinping, more than 70 high-ranking officials have been investigated or indicted.
In November, International Business Times reported on signs of a deepening crackdown, as for the first time senior officials in Beijing and Shanghai -- China's two biggest cities -- were detained on suspicion of graft. Targeting corruption has proved politically popular among Chinese citizens, and Xi has insisted that such efforts will shore up the party's legitimacy, while also denying that the crackdown itself is politically motivated.
Earlier this month, IBT reported, state media also linked the government's plans to demolish three residential high-rise buildings to allegations of corruption, contending that the buildings posed safety risks and represented a "serious breach of planning regulations." The development, located in the northern city of Tianjin, is owned by real estate developer Zhao Jin, who was arrested on corruption charges last year.