Sydney (AFP) Dec 2, 2010
The Australian boss of a travel company based in southern China has been charged with embezzlement, foreign ministry officials in Canberra said Thursday, stressing their "strong interest" in his case.
Et-China chief executive Matthew Ng was formally charged on Tuesday, a foreign office spokeswoman told AFP, two weeks after he was detained in the southern city of Guangzhou on suspicion of "misappropriating company assets".
"The Australian Government is monitoring developments closely to ensure due legal process is followed," the spokeswoman said.
"The Australian consulate-general in Guangzhou has raised the Australian government's strong interest in the case at senior levels of the Guangdong (provincial) government,' she added.
Police in Guangzhou said in a statement faxed to AFP that the case against the 44-year-old Ng was still under investigation.
Ng's case comes just months after four employees of Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto, including Australian passport-holder Stern Hu, were jailed in China on bribery and trade secrets charges.
The spokeswoman stressed that Ng's charges "relate to embezzlement and are very different to the ones faced by Mr Hu, which related to bribery and theft of commercial secrets."
Hu's trial strained relations between Beijing and Canberra, and stoked concerns among foreign investors about the rule of law in China.
Consular officials had visited Ng last month and would see him again on December 7, the spokeswoman said, adding that officials would "continue to monitor his welfare".
London-listed Et-China issued a statement in support of Ng following his detention and said it would be seeking "an early resolution of this matter to enable him to resume his role as chief executive officer as soon as possible".
Chinese media have said Ng's detention could be linked to his role in Et-China's acquisition of domestic travel agency GZL, one of the largest leisure travel companies in southern China.
Et-China was reportedly involved in a legal battle with Lingnan Group, a Guangzhou government-owned travel company, over control of GZL.
Ng helped found Et-China in 2000 and previously worked as an investment banker in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, according to a profile on the company's website.
earlier related report
The US chain has opened a "compact hypermarket" in the eastern province of Jiangxi that is expected to be the first of a series of stores using a bare-bones model developed in Latin America, the Financial Times said.
Compared with the retailer's larger outlets, the new stores will be smaller and have basic decoration such as cement floors and brick walls, the report said, citing the chief executive of Wal-Mart's international business.
"It is going to help us reach more people... not only in urban markets but also reaching people in rural areas," Doug McMillon was quoted as saying.
The new compact hypermarket in Zhangshu city is just over 3,437 square metres (37,000 square feet) and opened under the Trustmart banner last month.
McMillon said the return on investment in the compact format was equal to supermarkets that are more than twice the size.
"But the cost of operating it is less, so the (prices) are less," he said.
Wal-Mart currently has 189 outlets in China, according to its website.
The retailer's third-quarter sales in China soared 15.2 percent from a year earlier, the report said. Global sales in 14 countries outside the United States rose 9.3 percent in the same period, while US sales rose 1.4 percent.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Global Trade News
Indian tech firms link with China to take on Western brands
New Delhi (AFP) Dec 1, 2010
Indian technology companies are growing in confidence. New brands are launching thick and fast, determined to take on established Western names with help from cheap Chinese factories. Many of them have made significant inroads into the rocketing mobile phone market in India, and others already have their eye on bigger prizes in the international tablet computer and PC industry. The boss ... read more
Energy Use In The Media Cloud|
Singapore in tough environmental balancing act
EU over-consumes resources, agency says
Germany faces massive power grid overhaul
Russia wants EU to back South Stream
Desire hopeful of new Falklands oil find
Cameroon grapples with oil security crisis
China will pump 40 billion dollars in Venezuela energy
Repair And Inspection Services For The Expanding Wind Power Industry
Vestas Selects Broadwind Towers For Glacier Hills Wind Project
Optimizing Large Wind Farms
Enhancing The Efficiency Of Wind Turbines
JA Solar Announces Supply Agreement With GCL-Poly
Ames Lab Researchers Fabricate More Efficient Polymer Solar Cells
PSE And G's Linden Solar Farm Turns A Brownfield Green
Stellar Solar And Purdy Farms Create Solar-Powered Christmas Tree Lots
South Korea pulls out of Lithuania nuclear project: gov't
UN watchdog approves nuclear fuel bank
South Korea pulls out of Lithuania nuclear project: gov't
Paris looking at Areva capital increase: Lagarde
The Future Of Metabolic Engineering - Designer Molecules, Cells And Microorganisms
Ethanol in crosshairs as deadline nears on tax credit
Can Engineered Bugs Help Generate Biofuels
Biofuels Have Consequences On Water Quality And Quantity In Mississippi
Optis Software To Optimize Chinese Satellite Design
China puts satellite in orbit
Condition Of China's Lunar Probe To Determine Future Application
Tasks For Tiangong
Climate talks hit bump as Lula expects no result
Climate: Japan under fire for stance on Kyoto Protocol
Stakes are high for Philippines in Cancun
Negotiators get down to details at UN talks
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|