BEIJING, Dec. 24 -- Editor's Note: With great power comes at least some responsibility. But not everyone with great power turns out a responsible person. Some tend to abuse whatever power they have in their executive positions. Here are ten stories involving some of the least upstanding members of China's business community of 2009 – if they are guilty as charged.
1. Huang Guangyu - home appliance tycoon likely to face trial by year-end
Huang Guangyu, former chairman and founder of Gome, one of the leading home appliance retailers in China, is expected to face charges of bribery and insider trading.
Sources say investigations are close to completion, and the case will go to court by the end of December 2009. However, Yang Zhaodong, Huang's lawyer, says the charges are yet to be confirmed.
Huang has hired several of the country's top lawyers to defend him. Legal experts say the debate will focus on whether the offense is considered personal or corporate behavior. And this will have an impact on the severity of punishment.
Huang was detained on Nov.24, 2008, as he was suspected of manipulating share trading for two listed companies - Sanlian Commercial Co and Beijing Centergate Technologies Co.
Huang, 40, founded Gome in Beijing in 1987. The company was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2004, and Huang was named China's second-richest man by Forbes in 2008, with an estimated wealth of 2.7 billion U.S. dollars.
2. Tian Wenhua - boss of tainted milk producer gets life in jail
Tian Wenhua, 67, former chairwoman of Sanlu Group, was sentenced to life in prison in January 2009 on charges of producing and selling fake or substandard products.
Sanlu Group was at the heart of the 2008 melamine-tainted milk scandal. The company was declared bankrupt on Feb.12, 2009, because it was incapable of repaying outstanding debts as well as compensation it owed to families of children sickened by melamine-tainted formula milk powder.
The industrial chemical melamine can cause kidney stones and kidney failure. At least six children were reported dead and more than 300,000 others fell ill in the scandal since it broke in September 2008.
Special report: Yearender 2009