China Huarong Executives Sentenced to Death for Corruption

China Huarong Executives Sentenced to Death for Corruption

Ling Chenyi
2 min read

High-profile Corruption Case in China: Another Conviction Brings Zero Tolerance Policy to Light

On May 28, 2024, the Tianjin Second Intermediate People's Court publicly announced the first-instance trial verdict of Bai Tianhui, the former general manager of China Huarong International Holdings Ltd. He was sentenced to death, deprived of political rights for life, and had all personal assets confiscated. This ruling aimed to recover the illicit gains and interest, turning them over to the national treasury, with a continued pursuit of outstanding amounts. This verdict marks another major case following the 2021 execution of Lai Xiaomin, the former chairman of Huarong Group, for bribery. Lai Xiaomin's case involved a staggering bribery amount of 17.88 billion yuan, setting a financial corruption record since the establishment of the People's Republic of China. The severity and societal peril of the offenses led to the affirmation of the death penalty rulings in both the first and second trials.

Key Takeaways

  • Bai Tianhui was sentenced to death for bribery, with a lifelong deprivation of political rights and confiscation of all personal assets.
  • The bribery case of Bai Tianhui is a continuation of the case involving Lai Xiaomin, the former chairman of Huarong Group.
  • Lai Xiaomin was executed for bribery and embezzlement offenses, involving a staggering amount of 17.88 billion yuan.
  • The illicit gains and interest obtained by Bai Tianhui through bribery will be recovered and turned over to the national treasury.
  • This case underscores the stern crackdown on financial corruption by the Chinese government.


The verdict of Bai Tianhui's bribery case underscores China's zero-tolerance policy towards financial corruption. This not only serves as punishment for individual illegal conduct but also sends a strong warning to other financial professionals. In the short term, such high-profile verdicts may temporarily curb corrupt practices in the financial sector and enhance public confidence in judicial fairness. However, long-term sustained law enforcement and strengthened regulation are crucial for ensuring the healthy development of the financial industry. Additionally, such cases may influence international investors' perceptions of the Chinese financial market and increase risk considerations in investment decisions.

Did You Know?

  • China Huarong International Holdings Ltd: It is a state-owned large-scale financial enterprise primarily engaged in distressed asset management, financial leasing, banking, securities, and other businesses. It is one of the four major state-owned asset management companies in China, mainly responsible for acquiring, managing, and disposing of non-performing assets of state-owned commercial banks to improve the health of the financial market.
  • Bribery Offense: In the Chinese legal system, a bribery offense refers to the act of state employees taking advantage of their positions to solicit or illegally accept property from others to seek benefits for them. This behavior seriously disrupts the normal work order of state organizations and the integrity of public officials, thereby being considered a serious crime in Chinese law.
  • Death Penalty: In China, the death penalty is a legally prescribed penalty applicable to extremely severe criminal acts such as intentional homicide, serious bribery, and embezzlement. The judgment and execution of the death penalty in China are subject to strict legal procedures and reviews to ensure the fairness and legitimacy of the ruling.

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