China pilots regulations on officials' family businesses

BEIJING, April 20 (Xinhua) -- China is pushing for more restrictions on the business activities of officials' family members as pilots are trialed around the country.

The Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform, headed by President Xi Jinping, will pilot regulating business operations of family members of officials in Beijing, Guangdong, Chongqing and Xinjiang, following a test in Shanghai.

Family members include officials' spouses, children and the children's spouses.

In China ,officials are banned from running private businesses. Their family members are not completely subject to the ban but are required to separate interests from places and industries within their jurisdiction in business operation.

But such tolerance seems to be vanishing with the deepening of the nation's anti-graft campaign.

Shanghai issued the country's first trial regulation to ban close family members of senior officials from running businesses last May.

According to the regulation released by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Shanghai committee, spouses of the city's officials at or above mayor level are not allowed to run companies, nor can their children or the spouses of their children do business in the city.

These officials must report business activities of their spouses and children to upper authorities, the regulation said, warning of punishment for concealment.

Those whose families are already engaged in business face two choices: ask their families to quit or they can resign themselves.

The city checked the job background of 1,802 officials' families and found violations related to 182 officials, according to Han Zheng, Party chief of Shanghai. Most of the officials' families chose to quit their business, while three officials were investigated for suspected corruption, Han was quoted as saying.

It is unknown whether or not the new pilot regions will implement the same regulation as Shanghai, but experts said measures are likely to be similar.

The fast expansion of the trial system indicates it has produced good effects in Shanghai, thus the terms and rules are possibly based on Shanghai's regulation, said Zhu Lijia, professor from the Chinese Academy of Governance. He said the regulation is explicit and has strong feasibility.

He expects that a national regulation will eventually be in place.

[ Editor: Jiaming ]


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