The vice president of the elite Zhejiang University in the eastern city of Hangzhou has been arrested on suspicion of “economic issues.”
The probe into Chu Jian, 50, might be linked to allegations he had siphoned off state assets, an insider told China Youth Daily yesterday.
The investigation was launched following a tip-off from an unidentified professor, the insider told the newspaper, claiming that authorities had received many reports alleging embezzlement.
Local prosecutors refused to disclose any details as the case was still under investigation.
As a leading figure in the field of industrial automation in China, Chu was invited to jointly establish the Supcon Automation Company affiliated to Zhejiang University in 1993.
The company was the predecessor of the current Supcon Group, which now has 4,000 workers and produces 3 billion yuan (US$494 million) worth of output a year.
In 1999, the university established a limited company called Haina, and Supcon became a major subsidiary. In following years, Haina reported decreasing net profits and by 2002 Supcon had become an independent company, according to the 21st Century Business Herald.
The insider told China Youth Daily that Chu was suspected of having taken out huge assets from Haina.
Last week, the disciplinary watchdog in Sichuan Province said An Xiaoyu, vice president of Sichuan University, was being investigated for suspected severe discipline violations.
An’s investigation came on the heels of one last month into Cai Rongsheng, director of admissions for the Beijing-based Renmin University, for his alleged violations when he was in charge of “independent enrollment.”