Communist Party expels former executive at China Mobile parent

HONG KONG Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:01am IST

A man uses an Apple iPhone in front of China Mobile banners at one of its branches in Beijing December 23, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

A man uses an Apple iPhone in front of China Mobile banners at one of its branches in Beijing December 23, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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HONG KONG (Reuters) - A former senior executive at China Mobile Ltd's (0941.HK) state-owned parent has been expelled from the Communist Party amid a company-wide probe into suspected corruption.

China's new leadership has made fighting graft a priority to assuage rising public anger over the scale of corruption in the world's second-biggest economy.

Xu Long, who was general manager of China Mobile Communications Corp's Guangdong office, was expelled from the party due to "severe discipline violations," according to a statement posted on Wednesday on the website of Guangdong province's disciplinary committee.

"During Xu Long's posting at China Mobile Communications Corp's Guangdong office, he took advantage of his senior position to seek profits for others," the statement said.

Xu "took multiple bribes that involved an enormous amount of money," it said. He will sent to court and his illegal income would be seized, the statement added.

China Mobile, the world's biggest mobile operator by subscribers, said in May its parent was beefing up its internal supervision after a government audit highlighted problems in accounting practices and internal management.

Xu was taken away by the provincial government's disciplinary committee in August due to "severe discipline violations.

Shares of Hong Kong-listed China Mobile were down 0.8 percent on Wednesday, lagging a 0.5 percent gain for the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

China's anti-corruption campaign has led to the detention of some senior government officials as well as senior executives in major state firms, including PetroChina Co Ltd (0857.HK) (601857.SS).

(Reporting By Yimou Lee; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Miral Fahmy)

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