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Anti-monopoly expert denies accepting Qualcomm pay

2014-08-14 08:34 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan

The anti-monopoly expert Zhang Xinzhu denied on Wednesday a report saying he obtained money to support a US chip maker that was under anti-monopoly investigation.

Zhang's denial came after he was fired for "disciplinary violations" from the consultant group of the anti-monopoly committee under the State Council on Tuesday, China News Service reported.

Zhang was accused of supporting US company Qualcomm Inc and taking at least 6 million yuan ($975,000) when it was under an anti-monopoly probe by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in December 2013.

Zhang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said he was dismissed because he defended Qualcomm, but he never received a penny from the company.

He admitted he provided consulting services for Qualcomm and because of this, the committee asked him to write a self-criticism.

He said his consulting did not violate the regulations or cause a conflict of interest, thepaper.cn reported.

"It was unclear as to whether the 6 million provided by Qualcomm was Chinese yuan or dollars. But it could be confirmed that they had some relations regarding money," eeo.com.cn reported, quoting an official involved in the investigation of Zhang. He had composed a more than 100-page report that defended Qualcomm against the NDRC charges.

The NDRC had been investigating Qualcomm on the suspicion of overcharging and abusing its market position in wireless communication standards since November 2013.

The president of Qualcomm submitted a research report to NDRC which revealed the second author of the report was Zhang Xinzhu, reported chinanews.com on Wednesday.

This was confirmed by the NDRC and the anti-monopoly bureau, according to the report.

An expert from the consultant group told the Global Times it is the first time the group ever fired an expert after its establishment in 2011.

He also confirmed to the Global Times that Zhang violated the committee's rule that members cannot consult for other organizations without the permission of the anti-monopoly committee.

A violation can result in dismissal, he said.

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