A former China Mobile chairman has received the death penalty after being found guilty of accepting an estimated $2.6 million (16.48 million yuan) in bribes, according to AFP.

The man, Li Hua, formerly held the position of chairman and general manager of the state owned mobile operator’s Sichuan branch.

Earlier this year Hua turned himself into police after admitting that he had received funds in exchange for offering “interests”

Interestingly for a death sentence, Li has been handed an additional two year probation. This effectively grants him a two year reprieve, although CNN believes that the man’s life may be spared as such sentences are “commonly commuted to life imprisonment”.

China Mobile has enjoyed more positive news of late. It’s recently announced half year profits of $9.6bn which, alongside its estimated 929 million subscribers, made it the world’s largest mobile operator both on profits and users.

These figures are likely to further increase if rumours of secret meetings between company officials and Apple see the operator finally licensed to sell the iPhone in China.