27 March 2019
China’s former head of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC)  Lu Wei was sentenced to 14 years in prison for accepting bribes and fined US$447,000 on Tuesday. He was accused of taking bribes amounting to $4.8 million. The court also confiscated all the assets he obtained corruptly. Last October he pleaded guilty to corruption charges. He will not appeal against his conviction. Xinhua news agency reported.
Time magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2015.
As the head of CAC, he oversaw a crackdown on Weibo, ensuring all messages against the government were deleted from the internet.
His approach has attracted considerable attention from other autocratic regimes and China’s top tech firms have gone on to sell foreign governments the tools for building their own firewalls.
He started his career with Xinhua as a reporter and by 2001, he was the news agency’s secretary general. Then in 2011 he was elevated to the position of vice mayor of Beijing city, in charge of the propaganda department. In 2016 he was removed from his position as head of CAC, but he continued to hold his position as vice minister of the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda department. In November 2017, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) announced that Lu was under investigation for “serious violations of discipline.” In February, the CCDI announced that Lu was to be expelled from the Party and dismissed from public office.
Last November, a handwritten letter of repentance from Lu went on display at an exhibition in Beijing to mark the 40th anniversary of the country’s reform and opening up. The South China Morning Post reported.