China Communist Party critic Ren Zhiqiang gets 18 years for corruption

China Communist Party critic Ren Zhiqiang gets 18 years for corruption

  • Outspoken real estate tycoon known as ‘Big Cannon Ren’ embezzled US$7.3 million, court finds
  • Confession and plea for leniency taken into account when passing sentence, according to judgment summary

A Chinese real estate tycoon, who has been a vocal critic of the Communist Party leadership, was sentenced to 18 years in prison on corruption charges and fined 4.2 million yuan (US$620,000) on Tuesday.Ren Zhiqiang, 69, said he would not appeal, according to a statement released by Beijing No 2 Intermediate People’s Court, which found that the property developer had taken advantage of his position to embezzle more than 49.74 million yuan in public funds between 2003 and 2017.

The court also found that, over the same period, Ren had “accepted bribes worth more than 1.25 million yuan; misappropriated 61.20 million yuan of public funds, and abused his power [as a state employee] causing 116.7 million yuan in heavy losses to state-owned companies” for a personal gain of more than 19.41 million yuan.