Wison Engineering Services Co Ltd, a supplier to PetroChina, said it has been found guilty of bribery after an investigation by the Chinese government and ordered to pay a fine of 30 million yuan ($4.83 million). The firm’s controlling shareholder, Hua Bangsong, was also sentenced to 36 months in jail on the same charge, the company said in a stock exchange filing. Wison Engineering said it was reviewing the judgment to decide whether to appeal.
“The board does not expect the above matters to have a material adverse impact on the business operations and the financial conditions of the group,” the company said in the filing to the Hong Kong bourse late on Wednesday. Hua had not yet decided whether to appeal his conviction, Wison Engineering said, citing his lawyers. Hua is due to be released from jail in the fourth quarter of 2016 given the time he has already spent in detention, the company said.
Wison Engineering had said in November that the firm and its then chairman, Hua Bangsong, were facing bribery charges following an investigation by the Chinese government alleging that they had been involved in “the offering of unlawful advantages”.
Late last year, Wison’s main customer PetroChina, the country’s dominant oil and gas producer, and its parent China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), were at the centre of one of the biggest corruption investigations into the Chinese state sector in years.
On Wednesday, Wison Engineering said the company and Hua were both acquitted of conspiracy to commit a “tender-offer fraud”.
Trading in the company’s shares, which was halted on Wednesday afternoon, will resume on Thursday. ($1 = 6.2096 Chinese yuan renminbi)