Hong Kong: The fallout from the ouster of former Chongqing party leader Bo Xilai spread after his brother resigned as vice chairman of China Everbright International Ltd and the company moved to distance itself from the Chinese political scandal.
Bo Xiyong's departure on Wednesday from a post he had held since 2003 signals widening scrutiny of Bo Xilai's family connections as China's leaders seek to contain the scandal ahead of this year's transfer of power from President Hu Jintao to the next generation, likely to be led by Vice President Xi Jinping.
Bo Xiyong was using the name Li Xueming at Everbright, but the Hong Kong company's registry documents record that Li and Bo Xiyong, Bo Xilai's elder brother, are the same person.
The construction, water and waste investment holding company made no reference to Li's relationship with Bo Xilai, but said the resignation was "to minimize any possible adverse impact on the company of certain reports recently published by the media on his family background".
Bo Xilai, the son of Bo Yibo, a former Chinese vice premier and revolutionary who fought alongside Mao Zedong, was removed as party secretary of Chongqing in March, and stripped of his Politburo post in April.
He is being investigated for violating party discipline.
His wife, Gu Kailai, is under investigation for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood. Chongqing police investigators believe Heywood was poisoned after he threatened to expose a plan by a Chinese leader's wife to move money abroad, two sources with knowledge of the police investigation said earlier in April.
Bo's downfall was precipitated by his former police chief, Wang Lijun, seeking refuge at the US Consulate in Chengdu. Bo Xilai ran Chongqing and had clear ambitions to ascend to China's top leadership later this year - the Communist Party's nine-man Standing Committee.
Since then, details have begun to emerge about Bo and his family, prompting his son, the Oxford- and Harvard-educated Bo Guagua, to refute speculation about his private life and family.
First Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012, 12:39