Shanghai: Officials’ close relatives can’t run businesses

BEIJING (AP) — Shanghai officials have implemented China’s toughest ban on the business activities of government officials by prohibiting their spouses, children or children’s spouses from running private businesses.

A notice posted on the city government’s website last week said such relatives are not allowed to do any business in the city. The ban applies to the relatives of senior officials such as heads of city departments, district and county governments and courts. Such officials were already prohibited from running businesses.

The rules require officials to disclose the jobs held by their spouses and children to the ruling Communist Party, but not publicly. The party has resisted the kind of public accountability — including disclosure of assets by top party officials — that critics say is necessary to fully root out corruption.

Chinese laws have already banned officials’ relatives from certain business activities since 1985, but the new regulations are the most all-encompassing and specific yet and come amid a larger government anti-corruption campaign.

A report by the official Xinhua News Agency said the Shanghai ban may make way for a nationwide policy against business activities by officials’ relatives.

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