11 December 2017

The picture above shows Lu Wei in Zuckerberg’s office.

Lu Wei, former vice chief of the publicity department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and a key official in implementing Chinese President Xi Jingping’s cybersecurity policy is being probed for corruption. An official government report said the he has “severely violated Party discipline”. It did not disclose any further information. Six other people including his colleagues or family members, were taken away for investigation.

Lu was the key official who decided what the 730 million internet users can view. Foreign technology companies which want to enter Chinese market required his approval. During his 6-day official visit to the US, he met with Zuckerberg of Facebook, Tim Cook of Apple and Jeff Bezos of Amazon, who desperately want to enter the massive Chinese market. When Lu visited Zuckerberg’s office, a copy of Xi Jinping’s The Governance of China was prominently on his desk. He told Lu that he gave copies of the book to his colleagues so that they can understand socialism with Chinese characteristics. Mr Zuckerberg conducted an interview, almost entirely in Chinese, at Tsinghua University back in October and won the admiration of many people in China.

 Although Lu was removed from his public office, he still holds his party post as a deputy chief of the propaganda department without a portfolio. From this, informed sources say that Lu could face disciplinary action but will ultimately escape prosecution. He worked at Xinhua News Agency for 14 years before moving to Beijing in 2011 to head Beijing Municipality propaganda department and serve as vice mayor. He is known to have expressed his opinion that China deserved a major role governing the world-wide web, given its massive internet user base and its powerful players like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.