China Mobile executive gets death in bribery case

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A former senior executive of the state-owned China Mobile was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for taking bribes from Siemens AG, Caixin Magazine said today.

The Higher People's Court of Henan Province upheld the death verdict for Shi Wanzhong, the former human resources director of China Mobile, for taking US$5.06 million in bribes with Tian Qu, who served as a middleman between Shi and Siemens when Shi headed China Mobile's Anhui branch from 2002 to 2009.

Shi also accepted 2 million yuan (US$309,600) from a private company during his tenure in Anhui Province, the court said.

Tian Qu was sentenced to 15 years in prison, according to the court.

However, their trial was not open to the public as the court deemed it involved state secrets, the magazine said.

This was the first time that a senior company executive has been jailed in connection with a bribery scandal that has tarnished the reputation of Siemens, the German technology giant.

To expand its market share in China, Siemens hired Tian, a close friend of Shi, as its sales representative, to negotiate deals with Shi, who was then the general manager of China Mobile's Anhui branch and was in charge of equipment purchase.

Tian earned US$5.06 million in commission from Siemens, which the court said was later shared with Shi for his role in fixing the deals, the report said.

However, it is unclear how much worth of deals with Siemens were signed by Shi.

Siemens so far has received no punishment for its part in the bribery case. According to China's Criminal Law, companies shall be fined if they offer bribes and commissions to government officials or those working in a state-owned enterprise. Company employees guilty of bribery shall be given jail terms of up to five years.

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