13 Aug 2014

Ex-food company boss arrested

12:06 pm on 13 August 2014

The former head of one of China's largest food companies has been arrested as a large scale anti-corruption drive turns its focus to the country's financial capital, Shanghai.

Chinese President  Xi Jinping.

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: AFP

Wang Zongnan was the head of two state-owned retailers before chairing the Bright Food Group, a position he resigned late last year. He is accused of embezzling public funds and accepting bribes.

Bright Food's dairy arm is the major shareholder in the Canterbury dairy company Synlait Milk, but earlier this month Synlait said allegations against Mr Wang related to a period of his career before he was with Bright.

President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign has already touched the highest levels of the Communist Party as well as the military and it has brought down thousands of lower level officials.

There is growing evidence that he is now turning his to China's financial capital, Shanghai, the power base of his still influential predecessor Jiang Zemin.

Wang Zongnan was himself once an associate of Jiang Zemin, the BBC reports.

Reports say a large team of investigators from the party's feared anti-corruption unit have been sent there from Beijing.

More on this story