(Yicai) Feb. 2 -- Gao Weidong, former chairman of China's biggest liquor distiller Kweichow Moutai, has been sentenced to life in prison for accepting bribes worth more than CNY110 million (USD15.3 million).
Gao said he will not appeal the verdict, according to a press release issued by the sentencing court in Guizhou province today.
The court found that from 1999 to 2022, Gao took advantage of his several roles -- including vice mayor of Guiyang, chairman of the baijiu giant, and head of the provincial transport bureau -- to help various individuals, firms, and organizations in matters such as business operation, project contracting, land development, and liquor purchases in return for bribes.
He was placed under investigation in 2022.
Gao started his 17-month tenure at the helm of Kweichow Moutai in March 2020. He made great efforts to promote its direct sales channels and strengthened its e-commerce business. Under his watch, the firm’s shares more than doubled in value to CNY2,603 (USD364), giving it a market cap in excess of CNY3 trillion (USD420 billion).
In December 2020, Gao received an information disclosure warning from the stock exchange as he had revealed performance details to distributors ahead of time during a conference. After leaving the liquor maker, he became a director at the Guizhou Provincial Coalfield Geology Bureau.
Kweichow Moutai’s shares [SHA: 600519] finished 0.9 percent lower at CNY1,596 apiece in Shanghai today.
Editor: Emmi Laine