State broadcaster CCTV says Lu Wei is accused of accepting 32 million yuan ($4.6 million) in bribes.
It said his trial began Friday in the eastern city of Ningbo with 60 officials, reporters and members of the public present. China has 700 million people online, but it heavily censors content, especially that of a political nature.
Lu was responsible for leading the government’s efforts to tighten control over domestic cyberspace and championing the party’s position that governments have a right to filter and censor their countries’ internet.
Lu held high-profile meetings with top executives from foreign technology and internet companies, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.