The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has targeted the five largest Chinese enterprises in Hong Kong for corruption. The five enterprise groups are: China Resources (华润集团), the Bank of China (中银集团), China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC, 中信集团), the China Everbright Group (光大集团), and the China Merchants Group (招商局集团). At a CCDI meeting, Wang Qishan, the Commission’s Secretary, stated that their problems have long existed and are very severe. They have created independent kingdoms and their own cliques.
According to the May Edition (439th Edition) of Cheng Ming Monthly, a Hong Kong-based magazine, of the top executives of these five largest Chinese enterprises and 35 enterprises owned by Provinces or Ministries in China, 75 to 80 percent are the children, grandchildren, or relatives of government officials. 63 to 75 percent hold a foreign passport or residence card.
On April 11, 2014, the CCDI held a meeting of the “Anti-Corruption and Rectification Campaign” to target those five largest Chinese enterprises in Hong Kong. Wang Qishan stated at the meeting: “The combined work of auditing, checking, rectifying, and anti-corruption for the five enterprise groups have a clear, well-defined, and firm purpose. This work is to maintain responsibility to our people, our country, and our undertaking. For this work, we should never stop in the middle, retreat, or leave something unresolved for the future.”
Wang further listed the major problems that these enterprise groups face:
1. They have been establishing independent kingdoms and cliques in the areas of appointing executives, operations, and auditing.
2. There are powers at certain Central CCP department and local governments protecting these groups, which means that the central government’s over-20 attempts to rectify and investigate these companies was done in vain.
3. They have changed or abandoned the CCP Central Committee’s regulations on institutions stationed outside China.
4. They have ignored the central government’s fiscal system, financial system, and accounting system, and created multiple versions of accounting books to cheat the government.
5. Top executives of these enterprises, along with their relatives, have conducted individual illegal economic and financial activities in the name of the enterprise.
6. They spend lavishly on salaries, benefits, and bonuses.
[Editor’s Note: Zeng Qinghong (曾庆红), the number two person in Jiang Zemin’s clique, has a strong influence over Hong Kong and Macao affairs. From 2003 to 2007, he was the Chair of the Central Hong Kong and Macao Work Coordination Committee, and has continued to maintain a powerful influence. China Resources Chairman Song Lin, who was recently taken down on corruption charges, is considered Zeng’s man. Some media have mentioned that Wang’s targeting of these enterprises is a step aimed at Zeng.