Yuan Renguo born October 1956) was a prominent Chinese business executive and politician. He was best known for serving as the chairman of the Board of Maotai from 2000 to 2018. In May 2019, his career took a significant hit when he came under investigation by China’s top anti-corruption agency.
Yuan was born in Renhuai County, Guizhou, in October 1956. He entered the workforce in April 1974 and joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in July 1982.
Career at Maotai
Yuan joined Maotai in 1975 and assumed various roles within the company over the years. He started as a secretary and later became the director of the Office, workshop director, and assistant director. Yuan was promoted to deputy general manager in January 1997. His rise within the company was quick, and by April 1998, he had become the general manager. Yuan was finally named chairman of the board in December 2000.
Yuan was a delegate to the 10th and 12th National People’s Congress. He also served as a representative at the 17th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. On January 6, 2017, he was appointed as the deputy director of the Financial and Economic Committee of the Guizhou Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. However, he was laid off from this position in May 2019.
Yuan’s downfall began on May 22, 2019, when he was placed under investigation for “serious violations of laws and regulations” by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the CCP’s internal disciplinary body, and the National Supervisory Commission, China’s highest anti-corruption agency. He was expelled from the CCP and removed from public office the following day. On June 27, he was indicted on suspicion of accepting bribes, and on September 6, the Intermediate People’s Court of Guiyang held a public hearing on Yuan’s bribery case.
On September 23, 2021, Yuan was sentenced to life imprisonment by the same court. He was also deprived of his political rights for life and ordered to have all his personal assets confiscated. He was found guilty of receiving bribes totaling 110 million yuan (US$16.2 million). Another former chairman of the Board of Maotai, Gao Weidong, was also sacked for graft in May 2022.
Yuan Renguo passed away on September 10, 2023.