A top Chinese regional official has been expelled from the Chinese Communist Party – and may face heavy punishment for allegedly “supporting” crypto mining in exchange for bribes and sex.
Per NBD and the China Daily, charges against the official, Xiao Yi, were leveled by the supervisory committee of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) – the highest internal control body in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Xiao Yi had been serving as the vice-chairman of the Jiangxi Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a key political advisory body to the central government.
Following September’s crackdown on crypto mining, the focus from enforcers has mainly been on shutting down miners who are yet to turn off their rigs or relocate away from Mainland China. But now it appears the spotlight has fallen on officials who are allowing miners to stay operational.
The CDDI has alleged that Xiao made “grave violations” of CCP “discipline and laws,” and had “abused his power” to “introduce and support enterprises to engage in virtual currency mining activities.” These “activities,” the CDDI stated run contrary to China’s “industrial policies.”
The investigators say they have handed Xiao’s case over to the courts after expelling him from the CCP and confiscating funds they say were “illicitly” obtained.
Xiao, the CDDI stated, “accepted gifts and money” and attended orgiastic “banquets” seemingly funded by crypto mining-related firms. He also “illegally accepted huge amounts of property” in return for favorable “personnel promotion and project contracting” decisions, the body said.
Xiao was “also found to have traded power for money and sex,” the CDDI continued.
The Global Times, a state-run newspaper and government mouthpiece, reported that Xiao had also been “interfering in judicial activities,” and added, quoting unnamed “market watchers”:
“The case has shown China’s resolution to strictly regulate virtual currency-related activities.”
Similarly unnamed “industrial observers” claimed that as of the start of last month, “over 90% of virtual currency-related businesses have been shut down in China following the country’s broad and strictest ban on virtual currency trading.”
Last week, it was the turn of the National Development and Reform Commission (formerly the State Planning Commission), an economic policymaking body, to announce that remaining crypto mining “activities“ should be “cleaned up and regulated,” while state-owned firms and bodies conducting “mining activities” were warned they would be “strictly investigated and punished accordingly.
The South China Morning Post commented that Xiao is the “most senior Chinese official to be punished for supporting cryptocurrency mining” to date, a fact that would “send a strong signal to local cadres about Beijing’s stance on the issue.”