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Ren Zhiqiang, an outspoken critic of the Chinese Communist Party, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for corruption on September 22, 2020. The former real estate tycoon was found guilty of embezzling almost 50 million yuan (US$7 million) and accepting bribes worth 1.25 million yuan (US$184,000) between 2003 and 2017. Ren was fined 4.2 million yuan (US$620,000). He “voluntarily” confessed to all charges and would not appeal, according to the court statement.
In March, Ren was put under investigation for alleged “serious violations of law and discipline” after writing an essay critical of China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. The 69-year-old was eventually expelled from the Communist Party.
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