A renowned Chinese billionaire has been sentenced to 18 years in jail, the latest in a long line of sentences handed down to outspoken corporate leaders.
In the northern province of Hebei, Sun Dawu owns one of the country’s largest private agriculture businesses.
He was found guilty of “picking fights and causing disturbance,” an accusation commonly made against activists.
Other accusations against him include gathering a mob to attack state agencies, illegally occupying farmland and preventing government employees from executing their duties. A fine of 3.11 million yuan ($478,697; £343,227) was also imposed on him.
Sun is claimed to have acquainted with some of China’s most renowned political dissidents and has previously criticized the government’s rural policies.
He was one of the only people to publicly accuse the government of concealing an African swine flu outbreak that hit his farms in 2019 and wreaked havoc on the country’s agricultural sector.
The Chinese government has been cracking down on enterprises and entrepreneurs. Alibaba, Didi, and Tencent are among the major digital corporations being investigated for a variety of regulatory violations.
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