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China censors Namibia corruption case that may touch president's son

It has blocked any references to the investigation even though Hu Haifeng is not a suspect, underscoring the taboo against covering China’s 'princelings.'

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A potential corruption scandal may be brewing in Namibia involving a Chinese company that until last year was headed by the son of China's President Hu Jintao.

Though Hu Haifeng isn't accused of involvement in the case, it has proven so sensitive that Chinese censors scoured the Internet in China of all references to it.

The severity of the censorship underlines the strict taboos in play when it comes to China's , or "princelings." These are the children and spouses of the Communist Party's senior cadre, who often become prominent in business, politics, or the military. Their privileged background can stir public resentment – and Chinese leaders have to be on guard against scandals in their family that rivals can exploit. 

Namibia investigates fraud, graft

In the Namibia case, anticorruption investigators allege that the company, Nuctech, defrauded the government over the supply of X-ray scanners, a deal backed by a $100 million Chinese loan.

A Nuctech representative in Namibia has been arrested, along with two other suspects, on accusations of diverting $13 million to a trading company in Namibia.

Since leaving the company, Hu Haifeng has been promoted to the position of party secretary of Tsinghua Holdings, the parent company of Nuctech. Namibia's prosecutor general Olivia Imalwa told the Monitor that no formal charges had been laid so far in the Nuctech case.

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