Former China Mobile exec guilty in bribery case

July 22, 2011

(AP) -- A former deputy chairman of state-owned China Mobile Ltd., the world's biggest phone company by subscribers, was convicted Friday of taking bribes and sentenced to prison.

Zhang Chunjiang, who also was a Communist Party official, was given a suspended with a two-year reprieve by a court in the central city of Shijiazhuang, the Xinhua News Agency said. Such sentences usually are commuted to life in prison with .

Zhang was convicted of taking 7.5 million yuan ($1.1 million) in between 1994 and 2009 from the general manager of a and the chairwoman of a Beijing advertising firm and her husband, Xinhua said. It gave no other details but earlier reports said Zhang was accused of "selling favors."

Chronic corruption in China is fueling public anger that communist leaders have warned could erode the ruling party's grip on power. Thousands of government and party figures are punished every year for graft, and some executed, but authorities have given no indication whether the problem is abating.

Zhang also is a former chairman of China Netcom Ltd., another of China's three main state-owned phone companies. Xinhua said the case against him also included offenses during his time in that job.

announced in 2009 that Zhang was under investigation. He was dismissed in January 2010 and later expelled from the ruling party, which stripped him of protection as a member of the political elite.

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