China punishes head of largest liquor company with life imprisonment

A Chinese court sentenced the country’s largest beverage producer to life in prison after authorities found him guilty of receiving large sums of money as a bribe and profit from his position.

According to a recent CNN report, in the latest example of Beijing’s long-running campaign against corruption, a court in the company’s hometown of Guizhou Province sentenced Yuan Rengu. Life imprisonment for taking bribes, including property It is worth about 113 million Chinese yuan (17.5 million dollars).

In a statement, the court said the investigation found that he used his various positions at the company between 1994 and 2018 to help distributors secure deals for his hugely popular company.

Mutai Baijiu is a huge brand that means “fire water”, thanks to the fact that its drinks contain 53% alcohol. The red and white bottles of its flagship product are a staple of Chinese banquets and corporate events. He was also known for serving the favorite drinks of General Mao Zedong, founder of Communist China.

The court said Yuan confessed most of his crimes and was therefore “slightly punished”, adding that all of his private property had been confiscated. Yuan’s ruling is a stark reminder of Beijing’s long-standing crackdown on corruption in previously it had hit Mutai.

In 2013, the company’s sales plummeted and its share price plummeted when President Xi Jinping waged a campaign to eliminate extravagant spending among officials, including expensive liquor. However, Motai remains one of the most valuable companies in China with a market capitalization greater than the combined value of a number of large companies.

The Anti-Corruption Agency regularly investigates powerful executives about corruption, and the corruption cases it detects serve as warning messages to all officials. In January, a Chinese court sentenced former head of one of China’s largest asset management companies, Lai Xiaomin, to death after convicting him of corruption.

The ruling against Yuan was part of a broader crackdown on companies private by the Chinese president, who lobbied Chinese tech giants and doubled down on prominent business leaders such as Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba.

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