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China's tobacco monopoly swept up in corruption probes

Huge profits, vertical management structure seen as breeding ground for crime

China is home to more than 300 million smokers and China Tobacco controls 97% of the market.

China's state tobacco monopoly, which supplies the world's largest cigarette market and one in every three smokers on Earth, is engulfed in an anti-corruption sweep that has also snared regulators responsible for overseeing it.

Nearly 20 senior executives and officials from the government-controlled China National Tobacco, commonly known as China Tobacco, and regulator the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration have been caught up in the anti-graft investigation since 2021.

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