China Mobile Ltd. (CHMOBZ), the world’s biggest phone carrier by users, said Vice President Lu Xiangdong is aiding a probe into “financial-related issues.”
The announcement comes after the South China Morning Post reported yesterday that China Mobile was checking on speculation that two senior executives were under detention for a graft investigation. The Hong Kong-based Post cited an unidentified assistant to company spokesman Zhang Xuan.
“Lu Xiangdong, an executive director and vice president, is currently assisting judicial authorities in the investigation of suspected financial-related issues,” China Mobile said in a statement to the Hong Kong exchange yesterday. The company will make further announcements when appropriate, it said, declining to provide any more details.
Officials at China Mobile (941) have been investigated before. A court in northern China handed down a suspended death sentence to Zhang Chunjiang, a former vice-president, in July after he was convicted of taking 7.46 million yuan ($1.2 million) in bribes, Xinhua News Agency reported at the time. China Mobile, with more than 655 million customers, fired the executive in 2010, citing alleged “financial irregularities.”
Anti-graft authorities also detained China Mobile Deputy General Manager Ma Li amid allegations of corruption, Xinhua reported in June. The amount of money involved in the case was more than 110 million yuan, according to Xinhua. China Mobile declined to comment on the case at the time.
Lu Xiangdong doesn’t have an individual e-mail address or phone number listed on the company’s website. Calls to China Mobile’s switchboard in Hong Kong weren’t answered after normal business hours yesterday.
China Mobile rose 0.4 percent to HK$81.70 in Hong Kong yesterday, before the announcement.
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