The Central Discipline Inspection Commission said in a statement on August 21 that Hangzhou Municipal Party Committee Secretary 53-year old Zhou Jiangyong, has been placed under investigation for serious disciplinary violations. The agency didn’t elaborate on Zhou’s suspected offences, but such terminology is used to describe corruption probes. Bloomberg (August 23) said Social media accounts wrote over the weekend that Zhou Jiangyong’s family bought up shares in a fintech company ahead of its initial public offering in November before the listing plans were scrapped. An article in China Economic Weekly described sketchy dealings by his wife and younger brother, said the complaints against her were as numerous as “snowflakes” about some of those dealings, and that the brother had two companies in which a subsidiary of Ant Financial was a small investor of amounts under 2 million Yuan. It also said that both the brother and his older sister have been detained. The reports were published in the Paper, part of the state-backed Shanghai United Media Group. The postings, which didn’t name the company, have since been deleted.

(Comment: The announcement is a surprising development as  Zhou Jiangyong, who is only 53 years, has risen quite rapidly in the CCP hierarchy and was widely considered as among Xi Jinping's close associates. Hangzhou has grown to become one of China’s most affluent cities, thanks in large part to Alibaba and its group of affiliates.)

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