China Jails Former Head Of State-Run Car Company Tied To VW And Toyota

Xu Jianyi shakes hands with now-stepped-down VW boss Martin Winterkorn in 2012. Photo Credit: Getty Images

A Chinese court has acted with “leniency” and jailed former FAW chairman and party secretary Xu Jianyi for 11 and a half years on corruption charges, Reuters reports. He ran China’s second-largest car company, one with ties to both Volkswagen and Toyota.

Those ties are thanks to China’s policy on requiring foreign carmakers to set up joint ventures with Chinese companies. This was a key issue when these charges were first brought up in 2015, as Automotive News then reported:

Xu, 62, began his automotive career in 1975, when he joined FAW. He spent his entire career there, aside from a four-year stint with the government of Jilin, where FAW is headquartered. He was named chairman of FAW, China’s second-biggest domestic automaker, in 2010.

In 2011, the government started investigating managers dispatched to FAW’s joint ventures with Volkswagen Group and Toyota Motor Corp. after receiving complaints from company insiders about rampant corruption.


Apparently the jail time is considered getting of light for Xu, as Reuters notes:

The court said it exercised leniency for Xu, who is also the former secretary of China’s ruling Communist Party in the northeastern province of Jilin, because he had confessed and helped secure the return of the illegal gains.

The Beijing court nailed Xu on taking $1.8 million worth of bribes altogether.

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Raphael Orlove

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.