Yesterday, Li Hua, former chairman and general manager of the Sichuan division of China Mobile (CHL), was sentenced to death for accepting more than $2.5 million in bribes.
The Intermediate People’s Court in the southwestern city of Panzhihua handed down the verdict with a two-year reprieve, meaning if Li behaves himself, he could skate with a mere slap on the wrist -- life in prison.
The New York Times points out that the "same type of sentence was handed down last month for one of the company’s other former executives, Zhang Chunjiang, who once served as vice chairman of China Mobile,” which also included “the confiscation of his personal assets and the removal of his political rights.”
He was convicted of accepting more than $1.15 million in bribes while working at a series of state-run telecom from 1994 to 2009. At least six other executives from China Mobile are under investigation in corruption cases.