Head Of China's Railway Company Commits Suicide: First Graft Probe Casualty?

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Bai Zhongren, the president of state-run China Railway Group - the state-owned engineering giant behind many of the country's largest railway projects - committed suicide over the weekend. As SCMP reports, Bai is among several senior railway officials and executives who have committed suicide since corruption scandals implicating the senior railway officials began to come to light three years ago.

However, there have been no direct links between China Railway Group and the corruption cases (yet); but Chinese courts are about to hand down verdicts for Zhang Shuguang, a former deputy chief engineer of the now-defunct Ministry of Railways, and Ding Shumiao, a businesswoman with close tie with disgraced former railway minister Liu Zhijun. Xinhua quotes a colleague as saying that part of the cause of Bai's depression might be the heavy debts that his company has run up.

Via South China Morning Post,

Bai Zhongren, the president of China Railway Group, a state-owned engineering giant behind many of the country's largest railway projects, jumped to his death over the weekend, Chinese media reported on Monday.

 

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The 53-year-old executive jumped to his death after suffering from depression in recent years

 

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Economic Information, a newspaper published by the official Xinhua News Agency, quoted a colleague as saying that part of the cause of Bai's depression might be the heavy debts that his company has run up.

 

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By the end of October, 2013, China Railways Group had total assets worth 626.5 billion yuan, and total outstanding debts of 531.9 billion yuan, with a debt-to-asset ratio of almost 85 per cent, according to the company's Q3 filings.

 

Bai’s suicide came as Chinese courts are about to hand down verdicts for Zhang Shuguang, a former deputy chief engineer of the now-defunct Ministry and of Railways, and Ding Shumiao, a businesswoman with close tie with disgraced former railway minister Liu Zhijun.

 

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Bai is among several senior railway officials and executives who have committed suicide since corruption scandals implicating the senior railway officials began to come to light three years ago. However, there have been no direct links between China Railway Group and the corruption cases.