Security & Fraud

Regulators Investigate China’s Ex-Securities Regulator

Liu Shiyu, the former head of China’s securities regulator, is being investigated for violating anti-corruption laws.

According to a report in Reuters citing the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Liu Shiyu surrendered to authorities and was cooperating with the National Supervisory Commission. No further details were provided in a statement on the government agency’s website, reported Reuters. Liu Shiyu had become head of the China Securities Regulatory Commission in 2016. At the start of this year, he stepped down and became deputy party chief at the All China Federation Supply and Marketing Cooperatives, reported Reuters.

The move on the part of China to investigate the former head of its securities regulator comes as the government has been trying to clamp down on corruption throughout the country. President Xi Jinping is waging a war on corruption, focused heavily on government officials and business executives who have allegedly fled abroad with assets. In February it arrested 62 Chinese nationals abroad and seized $1.5 billion in assets from 380 fake peer-to-peer lending platforms. The charges stem from illegally using P2P platforms to gather funds. At its peak in China, there were 3,500 P2P firms promising low investments and high returns for retail investors. As of last year, there were outstanding loans of 1.49 trillion yuan ($217.96 billion) in the country.

The investigation comes amid a tense relationship between the U.S. and China over trade tariffs. China has warned that it will retaliate if the Trump administration follows through on reported plans to impose trade tariffs on $200 billion in goods from China. The White House has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports, as well as double-digit duties on steel and aluminum imports. Now the U.S. is planning to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products, from 10 percent to 25 percent. Chinese officials say the country would then retaliate on U.S. imports.

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