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Companies in China are scouring ministries and regulators for officials willing to cross over and help them navigate a sweeping crackdown on the private sector that has upended some of the nation’s most high-profile firms.

Officials at watchdogs in charge of the financial system, and those from ministries overseeing commerce, industry and information are the most sought after, with pay packages in some instances approaching half a million dollars, about 60 times the average for civil servants, according to headhunters.

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