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China’s Former Internet Regulator Lu Wei Jailed for 14 Years

A court in Ningbo, Eastern China, on Tuesday sentenced Lu Wei, previously head of China’s Internet regulator, to 14 years in jail. He was found guilty of corruption charges.

According to state news agency Xinhua, Lu was former deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. “Lu was found to have taken advantage of his positions to help certain organizations and personnel with Internet management, running enterprises, personal promotions and job transfers between 2002 and 2017,” Xinhua reported.

He was handed a fine of $445,000 (RMB3 million) and ordered to repay the proceeds plus interest on his illegal gains. The court said he had taken or solicited $4.75 million (RMB32 million) in bribes.

Lu was placed under investigation in November 2017, and charged in July last year. At the time of his expulsion from the Communist Party in Feb. 2018, he was accused of “tyrannical” and “arbitrary” rule and of trading power for sexual favors.

Lu is one of the highest profile officials to be brought to justice in China’s ongoing anti-corruption drive. As head of the Cyberspace Administration of China, from April 2013 to June 2016, he was responsible for enforcing China’s Internet sovereignty policy and for managing relations with overseas tech giants such as Apple and Facebook.

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