China’s top anti-corruption watchdog has accused the country’s former internet tsar Lu Wei of being “tyrannical” and “shameless”, unleashing a barrage of claims against him late on Tuesday afternoon as it formally announced his expulsion from the Communist Party and handover to prosecutors.
In an exceptionally long list of alleged wrongdoings, the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said Lu, who headed the Cyberspace Administration of China until 2016, was “arbitrary and tyrannical”, abused his power for personal gain and pretended to follow the rules.
Other alleged misconduct and failings included using all means to build personal fame, making false and anonymous accusations against others, deceiving the top Communist leadership, extreme disloyalty, duplicity, trading power for sex, improper discussion of the party and a lack of self control.
Lu was put under investigation in November and awaits formal charges.
Lu is likely to face court, where he is certain to be found guilty by the party-controlled judicial system.
It was not possible to reach Lu or a representative for comment.
At the height of his influence, Lu, a colourful and often brash official by Chinese standards, was seen as emblematic of China’s increasingly pervasive internet controls.
He was the public face of China’s internet policies and sought to promote China’s internet strategies abroad. He made headlines in the United States in 2014 when he visited the Californian headquarters of Facebook and sat in founder Mark Zuckerberg’s seat.