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Louis Vuitton belt lands Mandarin in hot water

An official in central China’s Hunan province has been placed under graft probe after an online photo showed him wearing a Louis Vuitton belt.
The photo surfaced in March in an online forum along with a post. Chinese officials are under increasing scrutiny amid an intensified anti-extravagance campaign.

Li Jianguo (photo), general manager of state-owned Rucheng County Water and Electricity Company, was shown wearing a Louis Vuitton belt while standing among other officials.

“Where did he get money to buy such a luxury item worth at least 3,000 yuan ($490)?” the post questioned.

Li was subsequently placed under investigation on suspicion of seriously violating party discipline rules and laws. His case has been referred to prosecutors, local authorities said.

Chinese social media users were divided on whether Li’s belt was a label of corruption.

“3,000 yuan ($490) is not a big amount of money, an ordinary employee should be able to afford,” one user said. Others said the belt was likely obtained by corrupt means.

In a high-profile case in 2012, Brother Watch Yang Dacai was photographed smiling at the scene of a deadly bus crash wearing a luxury timepiece far beyond his salary. Yang, the former head of Shaanxi province Work Safety Administration, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for corruption.

Sources: Xinhua News, The Guardian


Hui Zhi is the Senior Manager for Content with the China Compliance Digest, where a version of this post first appeared.