China Shipbuilding Industry Corp (CSIC) chairman Hu Wenming has retired ahead of the formal merger of his company and China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC), China’s two largest state-owned shipbuilding conglomerates.

Hu, 62, is at the lower end of the general retirement age for Chinese executives at state-owned companies between 60 and 65.

The retirement news, announced on the CSIC website, indicates that CSSC chairman Lei Fanpei has a strong change of taking over the merged entity. Aged 56, the younger Lei took the helm at CSSC in 2018 after heading state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp for four years.