'Tyrannnical' ex-internet chief Lu Wei charged with graft

China | 30 Jul 2018 10:58 am

A procuratorate in Ningbo, in eastern Zhejiang province, has filed charges against Lu Wei, former deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party Central Committee and former head of the Cyberspace Administration of China, for multiple offenses including taking bribes, CGTN reported.

Earlier this year, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection condemned Lu, who was in charge of the Cyberspace Administration of China until two years ago, was "arbitrary and tyrannical.''

Lu came under investigation in November.

According to the procuratorate, the 58-year-old has abused power and public resources for personal purposes and illegally accepted large sums of money.

In June 2016, Xu Lin replaced Lu as the head of the Office of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs.

In February, Xinhua reported that Lu was being dismissed from the Communist Party and public office. He was accused of various crimes including trading power for sex, accepting large plots of property, abusing his privileges, and violating the party's eight-point frugality code. He also apparently refused to implement certain decisions and rules.

Lu started off as a reporter for Xinhua in 1991, eventually reaching the position of senior leader before transitioning into politics as the position of vice major of Beijing in the propaganda department in 2011. After the party formed the Office of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace affairs in 2014, Lu was made director of the office. During his reign, he focused on ensuring China's strong internet controls, doing so through a variety of means like cracking down on VPNs, virtual private networks, that are used to bypass China's firewall, according to the Quartz and The Diplomat.

He visited Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook's California offices and was included in Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in 2015, according to the same Quartz and Diplomat reports.

-CGTN/The Standard

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