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China state copper firm chief jumps to his death

The head of a $2.0-billion Chinese copper producer fell to his death from a building, the firm announced on Wednesday, and a state-run newspaper said he committed suicide following corruption allegations.

SHANGHAI: The head of a $2.0-billion Chinese copper producer fell to his death from a building, the firm announced on Wednesday, and a state-run newspaper said he committed suicide following corruption allegations.

The chairman of state-owned Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group, Wei Jianghong, died on Tuesday after falling off a building, the company said in a statement.

A string of officials have killed themselves in recent months, with speculation linking some to a crackdown on graft launched by President Xi Jinping after he took office last year.

State-run media said Wei jumped from a hotel owned by the company in Tongling, the city in the eastern province of Anhui where it has its headquarters.

The China Business News quoted a source as saying the incident might involve corruption since disciplinary authorities had initiated an investigation involving Tongling.

Tongling's profits have declined in recent years due to the sluggish world economy and slower domestic demand, reports said.

Its net profit for 2013 slumped 38 per cent year-on-year to 573 million yuan ($92 million), according to an exchange filing.

Shares of Tongling, listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange, were down more than four percent on Wednesday afternoon after the announcement, but its market capitalisation was still 12.7 billion yuan.

Tongling said authorities were investigating the incident and the board had appointed vice chairman Yang Jun as acting chairman. It added company operations were normal.

In April, the deputy chief of the Chinese government agency that fields grievances from citizens, Xu Ye'an, killed himself in his Beijing office although the details surrounding his death remain unclear.

State media also reported that Li Wufeng, deputy director of China's government information department, "fell to death", also in April.

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