- General Manager Tan said to be doing chairman's job meanwhile
- It's unclear if Lin will return to AVIC to work, people say
Aviation Industry Corp. of China Chairman Lin Zuoming has been absent from work because of health reasons amid a reorganization of the aerospace and defense group as part of a government overhaul of state-run enterprises, according to people familiar with the matter.
General Manager Tan Ruisong has been filling in for the chairman in the meantime, the people said, declining to be identified because the matter isn’t public yet. It is unclear whether Lin will return to work at AVIC or be reassigned, they said. AVIC didn’t immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.
AVIC, parent of more than 20 listed entities on Hong Kong and mainland exchanges, is among companies that the Chinese government is revamping in a bid to make them more competitive against global rivals. The Made in China 2025 blueprint, released in March last year, cited aerospace as a sector that could help the Asian nation develop into an advanced economy along the lines of Japan and Germany.
Lin, a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee, was quoted in a newspaper interview last year as saying China’s stock market rout was engineered by hostile forces determined to derail the country’s reforms and overthrow the Communist Party. China is “without any doubt” facing an economic war, according to an article in China Aviation News published in July. He didn’t name those he believed were responsible for the rout.
AVIC subsidiaries are developing China’s J-31 fifth-generation stealth fighter.
China proposes to merge more than 40 entities working on plane engines into a group with 145 billion yuan ($22 billion) in assets, a plan that includes investments from the government as well as AVIC and other companies, people familiar with the proposal said in January. In March, China made the first two senior appointments for a new company focusing on aircraft engines, drawing executives from AVIC for the roles.
The South China Morning Post late Monday reported Lin’s absence from the office.
— With assistance by Steven Yang