Sun Dawu, a rural tycoon and outspoken critic of the Chinese Communist Party, was sentenced to 18 years in prison Wednesday, the latest in a string of harsh punishments meted out by China against business leaders.
The 67-year-old Mr. Sun had been detained in November after a land dispute between his company, Dawu Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Group, and a neighboring state-owned farm.
As his agricultural empire grew he created a town around his holdings and provided services, like hospital care, to employees.
The harsh sentence comes amid broader efforts by the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, to muzzle outspoken business leaders and bring the private sector to heel.
Under Mr. Xi, a growing number of tycoons have been punished and a barrage of new rules have laid low corporate Goliaths in the technology and education industries.
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Chinese Communist Party, Dawu, Animal Husbandry
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