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Chart of the day: China ‘tiger’ hunt heats up

Andrew Parkinson | The Image Bank | Getty Images

China's hunt for corrupt officials has intensified in recent months, with both the frequency of investigation and the seniority of officials being investigated reaching all-time highs, according to Goldman Sachs.

Prosecutors investigated more than 25,000 people on suspicion of corruption in the first half of 2014, up 14 percent on year, the bank said, citing statistics released by the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP).

Beijing's anti-corruption campaign, initiated in late 2012 as the new leadership came to power, has positively surprised observers as it's deeper, longer and broader than many seen in the past.

Last week, the ruling Communist Party struck at its biggest "tiger" yet, announcing a probe into former security chief Zhou Yongkang – the highest ranking official to be placed under formal investigation in two decades.

Source: Goldman Sachs

While the anti-corruption campaign is set to have a negative impact on economic activity in the short term, it's expected to generate significant positive benefits over the longer run through more efficient spending, possible easing in social tensions and better productivity growth.

"A cleaner business environment means more money spent on steel and cement rather than on wining and dining and embezzlement or kickbacks," the bank said.

"Moreover, the 'non-official' financial burden incurred by corporates will also fall as entrepreneurs will not need to expend their resources in building personal relationships within the bureaucracy and competition will be based more on the merit of their products and service, rather than on their connections," it added.