1. New laws or regulations
(1) On April 18, 2016, the Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate promulgated Interpretations of the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate on Certain Issues Concerning the Application of Law in Handling Criminal Cases Involving Embezzlement and Bribery (the “Interpretations”). Key highlights of the Interpretations include the following (i) expanding the definition of bribes to include certain intangible benefits, (ii) clarifying that bribes may be given even after the benefits have been received by the bribe-makers, (iii) establishing monetary thresholds and standards for bribery prosecutions, including raising the thresholds for bribes involving government officials and non-government officials, and (iv) providing additional details on the requirements and benefits of voluntary disclosure.
Local level (Beijing & Shanghai): No developments.
Communist Party Rules: No developments
2. Upcoming laws or regulations
3. Government Action
(1) On April 6, 2016, Zhou Yuehai (“Zhou”), the former Member of Standing Committee of Communist Party and Vice Manager of China Southern Airlines, was tried by the Intermediate People’s Court of Shenzhen, Guangdong Province on charges of taking bribes, including cash amounting to RMB 480,000 (USD 73,629), HKD 100,000 (USD 12,883), USD 5,000, and one Cartier Platinum necklace.
The prosecutor accused Zhou, as a state functionary, of taking advantage of his position for the benefits of others and illegally misappropriating properties in a very large amount. Zhou pleaded guilty, but the case is still on trial. The former General Accountant of China Southern Airlines, Xu Jiebo, was on trial with Zhou.
(2) On April 14, 2016, Jiang Shan (“Jiang”), the former Secretary of Municipal Party Committee of Chuzhou, Anhui Province, was tried by the Intermediate People’s Court of Wuhu City, Anhui Province for taking bribes. The prosecutor alleged that, from 1999 to 2013, Jiang took advantage of his position and illegally accepted properties valued at RMB 4,339,000 (USD 665,577) for the benefit of bribe-givers. Jiang was further charged with abusing his authority by reducing or exempting land grant fees illegally, causing economic loss to the State amounting to RMB 160 million (USD 24.54 million). Given the complexities of this case, the court has not yet made the judgment on another given day.
(3) On April 18, 2016, Feng Runshen (“Feng”), the former Vice President of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference of Kaiping City, Guangdong Province, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment with three years’ probation by the Intermediate People’s Court of Jiangmen City, Guangdong Province for accepting bribes totaling RMB 80,000 (USD 12,271), plus confiscation of his personal properties valuing RMB 50,000 (USD 7,669). This case was one of the seven cases of the Special Action of International Pursuit against Duty Criminal announced by Supreme People’s Procuratorate.
The court found that during his term in office, Feng took advantage of his position in promoting products of a concrete-manufacturing company and helping it to pass relevant product quality inspections. In return, Feng received cash amounting to RMB 80,000 (USD 12,271) from the legal representative and several shareholders of said company. Feng was given probation due to his voluntary confession, return of all illegal gains, and his voluntary payment of fines.
(4) On April 20, 2016, Su ChangCheng (“Su”), the former employee of the New Rural Cooperative Medical Management center in Huoshan County, Hanhui Province, was sentenced to 6-months’ imprisonment by Huoshan People’s Court for corruption, plus confiscation of his personal property valued at RMB 100,000 (USD 15,339). This is the first case after the promulgation of the new Interpretations noted above. Relevant experts said that Su would have received a sentence of more than 5 years’ imprisonment before the promulgation of the new Interpretations.
The court found that during his two years of service, Su took advantage of his position and bought fake invoices for reimbursements aggregating to RMB 790,000 (USD 121,181). Su was given a lighter sentence due to his voluntary confession and the return of illegal gains before prosecution.