(Photo: REUTERS / Charlie Neibergall/Pool)
Xi Jinping, China's new president
Local officials in China have blocked the country's Internet users from gaining access to the Bloomberg/Businessweek website, most likely because the news outlet published an article detailing the vast wealth of the family of Vice President Xi Jinping, who is set to become the next president of the nation.
The Bloomberg News story, published on Friday morning, said that Xi's extended family has accumulated assets valued at hundreds of millions of dollars through investments in multiple holding companies.
The family has a significant stake in Shenzhen Yuanwei Investment Co., a diversified and real-estate holding company, as well as positions in lucrative rare-earth metals and technology companies, Bloomberg reported.
In addition, Bloomberg noted, Xi’s family owns a $31.5-million villa on the South China Sea in Hong Kong and at least six other properties on the island.
Chinese political leaders earn modest salaries, and are forbidden from accumulating personal fortunes.
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Interestingly, Bloomberg traced none of the assets directly to Xi himself, his wife, or their daughter.
The revelations would be particularly embarrassing to a Communist leadership seeking to stamp out government corruption. Xi himself has been associated with clean government and integrity.
Chinese officials routinely scour foreign Internet sites to block any sensitive reports and often block access to such items.
Dali Yang, a political scientist at the University of Chicago Center in Beijing, told BBC News: "The [Chinese] government has always been very careful in, on the one hand, emphasizing how they want to contain corruption, but yet also worrying about how reports of this nature might galvanize public opinion against the Communist Party.”
The Bloomberg report follows the scandal surrounding former Communist Party official Bo Xilai, whose wife is suspected of having smuggled billions of dollars out of China.
Apparently, outrage is growing among the Chinese public over the vast wealth of many bureaucrats and so-called ”princelings.”
This article is copyrighted by International Business Times, the business news leader