China is investigating a senior official in its stock market
Beijing - AFP
China is investigating a senior official in its stock market regulator for corruption, with domestic media linking the probe to companies listing on the country's $400 billion technology board.
The Communist Party's corruption watchdog said Li Liang, head of the investor protection bureau of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), was under investigation for "violation of laws and discipline".
The Central Commission for Discipline and Inspection gave no further details in its statement, issued late Monday, but the phrase is normally code for graft.
The investigation comes as China's securities regulator is pushing to make the IPO approval process more transparent, and during a government clampdown on corruption.
From 2009 to 2012, Li had responsibility for examining companies' proposed initial public offerings (IPOs) for the Nasdaq-style ChiNext board of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, according to Caixin magazine.
ChiNext now lists 400 companies with a market capitalisation of 2.39 trillion yuan ($390 billion), according to the exchange.
Caixin said some "controversial" approvals for listings might be behind his downfall.
The magazine also linked Li to another corruption case involving businessman Ling Wancheng, the brother of former politician Ling Jihua who was sacked after his son was killed in a scandalous Ferrari crash in 2012.
Ling Wancheng invested in seven companies before they launched their IPOs, six of which listed on ChiNext, Caixin said.
State media reported he was placed under investigation in October, four months after a corruption probe was announced into another brother, Ling Zhengce, formerly a senior official in Shanxi province.
The CSRC could not be reached for comment.