Chen Tonghai, a former chairman of China's second-biggest oil refiner Sinopec Corp, was given today a two-year reprive from a death sentence for accepting millions of dollars in bribes, Reuters reported.

Chen, 61 was sentenced to death by a Beijing court on Wednesday for taking $28.6 million in bribes, according to the Xinhua news agency, Reuters noted. However a suspension was announced by the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court.

Chen who was removed from Sinopec two years ago, can appeal the punishment and usually a suspended death penalty in the country means the sentence will be commuted.

The sentence will only have a limited impact in the oil company, an analyst said. When it first came to light it was damaging, but the management of the company has proceeded smoothly, Grace Liu, an energy analyst at Guotai Junan Securities commented today according to Bloomberg.