No. 2 Exec at China Automaker Dongfeng Faces Corruption Probe

State-Owned Company Has Joint-Ventures With Global Car Companies

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Zhu Fushou, general manager of Dongfeng Motor Corp., is being investigated for corruption, according to a statement issued Sunday by China's anti-corruption watchdog agency. Dongfeng is a state-owned automaker that has multiple joint-ventures in China with international car companies including Nissan, Honda Motor Co., and Renault.

Dongfeng Aeolus
Dongfeng Aeolus

Mr. Zhu "is suspected of having seriously violated [the party's] disciplines," the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China said Monday in a statement posted on its website. The commission has not released additional details about Mr. Zhu's case.

Mr. Zhu, 53, ranks as the second-highest executive at Dongfeng, next only to the state-owned automaker's chairman, Zhu Yanfeng.He joined Dongfeng in 1994 as vice general manager of the company's automotive wheel subsidiary. He became Dongfeng's general manager in 2008.

Mr. Zhu is the third senior executive at Dongfeng to be investigated for corruption. The two other Dongfeng executives are Ren Yong, VP of Dongfeng 's joint venture with Nissan, and Fan Zhong, former vice secretary of the Chinese Communist Party's unit at Dongfeng. The government launched probes of Messrs. Ren and Fan in December.

The new investigation of Mr. Zhu stems from an anti-corruption campaign initiated by the central government two years ago. Several senior executives at state-owned China FAW Group Corp. have been sacked or imprisoned. This year, former FAW Chairman Xu Jianyi was expelled from the Communist Party for embezzling funds, taking bribes and improperly advancing the career of his son.

Zhou Yongjiang, the former president of FAW-Volkswagen Automobile Co.'s sales company, and company VP Shi Tao both have been sentenced to life in prison by a Chinese court for accepting millions of yuan in bribes from the company's advertising agencies and dealers.

FAW-VW is a joint venture between FAW and Volkswagen. FAW also has joint ventures with Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp.

Aside from Nissan, Dongfeng has joint ventures with PSA Peugeot Citroen, Honda Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp. and Renault. Dongfeng and FAW are the oldest state-owned automakers in China, and they are also the leading truck manufacturers in the country.

--Automotive News China

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