After months of market volatility, China's top securities regulator finally got the boot over the weekend, leaving many to wonder what took so long.
China removed Xiao Gang, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), replacing him with Liu Shiyu, chairman of the Agricultural Bank of China and a former official at the mainland's central bank, the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the official news agency Xinhua reported over the weekend.
Analysts were generally unsurprised by Xiao's ouster given the turmoil in Chinese markets in recent months. How he managed to retain his position was the bigger mystery given the botched response to the country's equities meltdown that rattled global financial markets.
"I think he's lasted as long as he has because he got a second chance that if he could clean up the mess and bring some order to the markets then you may be able to keep your job," Fraser Howie, an independent analyst and co-author of Red Capitalism and Privatizing China, told CNBC Monday.
But mainland markets opened this year with quite a whimper. That sealed his fate, Howie said.