China's richest man could become the first private business owner to join the Communist Party's powerful central committee, state media reported on Monday.
Construction tycoon Liang Wengen topped Forbes magazine's annual list of China's richest people list with wealth of $9.3 billion this year, moving up from third place in 2010.
If Liang is chosen by the party at its congress next October, he will become the first private entrepreneur to join the committee, made up of around 300 of the most senior party members from across the country.
The China Times newspaper said the powerful Central Organisation Department, which controls staffing positions in the party, had completed its examination of Liang.
If elected, Liang is likely to be an alternate — or reserve —member. Alternate members cannot cast votes on policy, but can be promoted to full voting members when an existing one retires or dies.