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China Celebrity Newscaster Snared in Corruption Case

Chinese TV anchor Rui Chenggang
Chinese TV anchor Rui ChenggangPhotograph by Qian Xiaodun/AP Photo

It was reminiscent of the Soviet era. An empty chair with microphone appeared on a Friday evening economics program on CCTV, China’s national state-owned television station. Star anchor Rui Chenggang was abruptly taken in for questioning on corruption just before the show aired, along with the deputy director of the broadcaster’s economics and finance channel and a producer, reported finance media site CaixinOnline today.

But that’s where the similarities ended. The 37-year-old fluent English-speaking television personality likes to wear Zegna suits and drives a Jaguar (according to a 2009 profile in the New York Times.) And while he has made a name for himself as a polished interviewer of CEOs and heads of state including Michael Dell, Meg Whitman, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton, he’s also viewed by many as insufferably smug and a sometimes strident nationalist of convenience.