Liu is the third full-ministerial-ranking officials under investigation in 2019, the second full-ministerial-ranking officials who surrendered to CCDI voluntarily, the other being former Yunnan Party Secretary Qin Guangrong (秦光荣), and the first incumbent Central Committee full member to surrender to CCDI voluntarily.
There has been rumor on Liu being investigated by CCDI ever since he was removed from CSRC in January 2019 and appointed to All-China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives (ACFSMC) as Chairman. Since its founding in 1954, the state-owned ACFSMC has played an important role in China’s rural areas. As well as satisfying the daily demands and needs of rural residents, it has also provided Chinese farmers with agricultural products, including seeds, fertilizers, fuel and machinery services, while simultaneously helping them with transportation, packaging, marketing and the sales of their agricultural products via its enormous network. Yet, ACFSMC is largely a “retirement” place and many suspected Liu’s move to ACFSMC as a way for CCDI to fully investigate his wrongdoings in CSRC without his interference.
Liu is potentially implicated for two reasons. First, Liu shared office with ousted Huarong Asset Management Co. Ltd. Chairman Lai Xiaomin (赖小民) for four years from 1998 to 2002 in People’s Bank of China (PBOC)—it is likely that Liu as CSRC Chairman did favor for Lai, who had run one of China’s biggest asset manager for a decade. Second, during Liu’s tenure as CSRC Chairman, which was known for harsh regulation on IPOs, dozens of urban commercial banks of Jiangsu province conducted IPO in China’s A-share. Liu is a Jiangsu native and this pattern was suspected by many as Liu’s favoritism over his home province.