One of the two owners of Rui Hai International Logistics warehouse, which was responsible for the Tianjin explosions, is the son of a former police chief, Chinese state media Xinhua reported.
Xinhua said that the former police chief's son used his connections to obtain licences for the hazardous goods facility despite it violating safety rules.
The other owner of Rui Hai, a former executive at a state-owned chemical company, is also said to have used his connections to gain approval for the Tianjin warehouse.
The report sheds some light on rumours about the ownership of Rui Hai which came about after the deadly blasts. So far, at least 114 people have been killed by the explosions, while 65 people are missing and 674 people are in hospital.
It also reinforces the common perception that well-connected private Chinese companies use personal relationships in the government to override rules.