Ding Shumiao

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Ding Shumiao stands trial on Sept. 24, 2013.

Ding Shumiao 丁书苗 (also Ding Yuxin 丁羽心), a businesswoman who was involved in the corruption case of former railway minister Liu Zhijun, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Dec. 16, 2014, by a local court in Beijing for bribery and illegal business operations.

Ding's rise and fall

Ding Shumiao was born in 1955 in Qinshui County, Shanxi Province. From a farmer's family, Ding built up her property portfolio from nothing. She ran restaurants, railway freight and local coal businesses. Later, she came to Beijing and established her trade and investment company – Beijing Boyou Investment Management Co., - with business extending to high-speed railway equipment supplies, film and TV production, advertising and hotels. Ding was the chairwoman of the company's board of directors, with assets of hundreds of millions yuan.

In 1997, Ding became acquainted with Liu Zhijun who was then the vice railway minister, via Luo Jinbao, former vice director of the Linfen Branch of Beijing Railway Bureau. Liu was appointed the railway minister in 2003. From 2004 to 2010, Liu helped 23 businesses recommended by Ding win more than 50 railway construction contracts.

On Dec. 24, 2012, Ding's daughter Hou Junxia, vice president of the Boyou Group, was detained by police. She was suspected of illegal business operations. She confessed that her mother Ding Shumiao was the backstage manipulator.

In early 2011, Ding was detained by police over illegal business operation and bribery. Ding confessed that Liu Zhijun was the backstage manipulator.

On April 17, 2013, Ding's daughter Hou Junxia stood trial at the No. 2 Beijing Municipal People's court over charges of illegal business operations.

On July 8, 2013, former railway minister Liu Zhijun was sentenced death penalty with a two-year reprieve, lifelong deprivation of political rights, and confiscation of all personal properties at No. 2 Beijing Municipal Intermediate People's Court. Ding Shumiao's name appeared more than 20 times in court documents from Liu's bribery and abuse of power trial.

On Sept. 7, 2013, the No. 2 Branch of Beijing Municipal People's Procuratorate filed the charges against Ding Shumiao over illegal business operation and bribery, and the No. 2 Beijing Municipal Intermediate People's Court accepted the case.

On Sept. 24, 2013, Ding stood trial at the No. 2 Beijing Municipal Intermediate People's Court over charges of illegal business operation and bribery. Prosecutors accused Ding of offering 49 million yuan in bribes to former railway minister Liu Zhijun, offering 40 million yuan in bribes to Fan Zengyu, former vice director of the State Council's Poverty Relief Office, and of illegal gains of more than 2 billion yuan. Ding stated in court that the declarations were true. Considering that Ding had two craniotomy surgeries, the court allowed her to wear a hat during the trial.

On Dec. 16, 2014, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court for bribery and illegal business operations.

Ding, the legal representative of Beijing Boyou Investment Management Co., was fined 2.5 billion yuan (US$404 million) and had 20 million yuan in personal property confiscated. Ding helped 23 railway construction contractors win bids for 57 railway projects between 2007 and 2010. The illegal commission fee amounted to over 3 billion yuan (US$484 million) and Ding herself gained more than 2 billion, the court found. The 59-year-old paid 49 million yuan in bribes to former railway minister Liu to thank him for his help between 2004 and 2011. Liu himself was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for bribery and abuse of power on July 8, in 2014.

Social posts and honors

Ding has held various social positions in recent years. She has been a member of the Shanxi Provincial People's Political Consultative Conference, vice chairwoman of the China Association of Poverty Alleviation and Development, and vice editor-in-chief of the economics and culture column of a Chinese newspaper.

Ding was devoted to public good for many years. In 2006, she won the Contribution Award of the International Week of Science and Peace, and Model Worker of Shanxi Provincial Poverty Alleviation. In 2007, she was elected the Person of Credibility - one of China's Top 10 Series of Talented People. In 2008, Ding's company - Beijing Boyou Group - was awarded the Passionate Enterprise in Poverty Alleviation and Disaster Relief. In May 5, 2010, she ranked sixth in the Forbes China Charity List with a donation of 90 million yuan.