China National Petroleum Corporation, or CNPC, is the biggest of the three state-owned companies that dominate the Chinese oil sector. It’s also the most politicized, with influence at all levels of government and the ruling Communist Party. That’s allowed CNPC to press for all sorts of benefits, such as subsidies and oil price hikes — even when that leads to fuel shortages or a jump in inflation.
“This is a particularly visible symbol in many ways of ministerial corruption.”
John Minnich is East Asia Analyst for global intelligence firm Stratfor.
“It’s also one that plays really well to Chinese audiences, because Chinese are looking at this and saying, ‘Well maybe this is going to help bring our oil prices down.’”
Minnich says the anti-corruption drive may help China’s efforts to rebalance its economy. But he says it’s unlikely to affect the overseas investment strategies of Chinese oil companies.