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China Jails Former VW Joint Venture Exec

Chinese authorities are also investigating the former chairman and Communist Party secretary of China FAW Group, Xu Jianyi, for violations of discipline and the law.

SHANGHAI - A former executive of Sino-German auto joint venture FAW-Volkswagen has been jailed for life for taking millions of dollars in bribes, according to a state media report.

A court in the northeastern province of Jilin sentenced Shi Tao, former deputy general manager of the venture's sales company, for accepting 33 million yuan ($5.4 million) in bribes, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported.

Besides taking cash bribes from advertisers and car dealers, Shi was also found to own nearly 27 million yuan worth of property including villas in Beijing purchased with funds he could not account for, it said on Thursday.

The court and Volkswagen China could not be immediately reached for comment.

FAW-Volkswagen partners the German auto giant with FAW -- originally known as First Automotive Works and now China's third biggest automaker by sales.

Chinese authorities are also investigating the former chairman and Communist Party secretary of China FAW Group, Xu Jianyi, for violations of discipline and the law.

The party's disciplinary watchdog has given no details of the investigation into Xu, but such language typically refers to corruption.

Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a much-publicized drive against corruption after he came to power two years ago, vowing to target both high-level "tigers" and low-ranking "flies."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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