China’s former top internet regulator pleaded guilty Friday to corruption and abuse of power during 15 years of public service.
Lu Wei , 58, headed the Cyberspace Administration of China for three years. He resigned from the powerful post in June 2016.
Lu was the target of an investigation by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) for “serious violations of party discipline.”
In February, the CCDI expelled Lu from the Communist Party. A statement described him as a “shameless” man with a “swollen head” and an “arbitrary and tyrannical” leader who pursued personal fame.
Prosecutors charged him in July with taking millions of dollars in bribes and abusing his power.
In 2015, Time magazine named Lu to its list of the “100 Most Influential People” in the world. During a U.S. tour in 2014, he met with Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg.
Lu had served as vice mayor of Beijing, in charge of publicity.
Later, as chief of the the Cyberspace Administration, he advocated strong central control over the internet and more regulation of social media.
Prosecutors in Zhejiang province said Lu took bribes between 2002 and 2017 worth more than $4.5 million.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.