Well, we hadn’t anticipated this news story; Shi Tao, the former Deputy General Manager for Chinese joint venture FAW-Volkswagen, has been sentenced to life in prison on corruption charges.
According to Reuters, Mr. Tao accepted about $5.3 million US in bribes since 2006.
Tao was originally found-out in an audit back in 2013, up to which point he’d collected bribes from 48 different parties, usually in exchange for helping advertisers and dealers secure business orders from FAW-Volkswagen. The FAW Group is a Chinese state-owned automobile manufacturer, and controls about a 60-percent stake in the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture.
FAW Group also has joint ventures with General Motors, and Toyota, though it’s unclear whether either of those ventures in the country have sustained similar ethics violations. Volkswagen said very little about the Mr. Tao case, but that “globally, Volkswagen is strictly against any kind of illegal conduct, and attaches great importance that all applicable anti-corruption laws are adhered to.”
This investigation of the FAW-Volkswagen Executive Shi Tao is part of a larger attempt from China’s President Xi Jinping to diminish graft in state-owned companies and initiate reform, says Reuters.