Kweichow Moutai former chairman sentenced to life in prison

27 September, 2021

The former chairman of baijiu giant Kweichow Moutai has been sentenced to life in prison for taking 112.9 million yuan ($17.5 million) in bribes.

Yuan Renguo began working for the world’s most valuable liquor producer in 1994 and took the top job in 2000.

He left in 2018 after nearly two decades at the helm, and he was arrested the following year as part of a broader anti-corruption crackdown on the management team.

A court in Kweichow Moutai’s home province of Guizhou reported that Renguo used his influence to help distributors secure deals for Moutai baijiu. It added that he was “punished lightly” after confessing to his crimes, but he will be imprisoned for life, and all of his private property has been seized.

In January, the former chairman of one of China’s largest asset management firms, Lai Xiaomin, was handed a death sentence after he was found guilty of bribery. It formed part of Beijing’s major anti-corruption drive.

Kweichow Moutai’s share price increased by 9.5% in Shanghai today after its new chairman pledged long-term reforms.

Ding Xiongjun said the company will focus on its main business and push for reforms in corporate governance, asset management, marketing and pricing.

Kweichow Moutai’s market cap is larger than AB InBev, Heineken and Diageo combined.

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