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China probes chairman of auto giant FAW

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) stands with FAW Group CEO Xu Jianyi Image copyright AFP
Image caption German automaker Volkswagen has a joint venture with FAW Group in China

China is investigating the chairman of one of its biggest state-owned automakers, the Communist Party's corruption body said.

Xu Jianyi, chairman of China FAW Group, was being investigated for "serious" discipline violations - wording that generally implies a corruption probe.

The announcement was made on the party's discipline inspection website.

Mr Xu is the latest in a series of high-profile figures targeted in the government's crackdown on corruption.

FAW Group, the parent company of Faw Car, has joint ventures with auto giants Volkswagen, Toyota and General Motors in China - the world's biggest auto market.

News of the investigation against Mr Xu sent shares of Shenzhen-listed Faw Car down by as much as nearly 6% on Monday.

The 61-year-old chairman is also a member of the Communist Party, in a post equivalent to a cabinet vice minister.

In the announcement, the government also said it was investigating the 58-year-old deputy head of the party in southwestern Yunnan province - Qiu He - for the same charges.

A number of senior officials have been taken down in a campaign led by President Xi Jinping on corruption since he took over as the head of the party in 2012.

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