Prosecutors also accused Sun of taking advantage of his position to seek profits for others in project bidding, project approval, enterprise operation and personnel promotion. Sun pleaded guilty after a one-day trial in April.
He was replaced in Chongqing by Xi protege Chen Min'er, who was subsequently promoted to the Politburo. "I accept the court's verdict and will not appeal", the 54 year old leader said in court, China Central Television reported.
China's Sun Zhengcai, an ex-political star and one of the youngest Politburo members - seen as a potential contender for a top government position, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for corruption.
He committed the crimes while he was a district Communist Party leader in Beijing in 2002, when he was the state minister of agriculture, and during his period as party chief, the court said.
A former Chinese Communist Party official who was once tipped for a top leadership post was sentenced to life in prison for bribery on Tuesday, the latest senior cadre to fall in President Xi Jinping's sweeping anti-corruption crusade.
Since Mr Xi came to power in 2012 he has made tracking down corrupt elite "tigers" and "flies" at the grassroots level a cornerstone of his administration and hundreds of thousands of officials have been punished as part of the campaign. A probe led to his abrupt fall ahead of the party's National Congress previous year. In February, the Communist Party announced plans to amend China's constitution to remove term limits for the president, leading many to conclude that Xi intends to rule for life.
The party rejects criticism that the anti-corruption campaign is about silencing political opponents and weeding out rivals as much as it is about stamping out graft.
Xi would have had to give up the presidency after the end of his second term in 2023, but last year's decision Xi can now have a lifetime to push his vision of a rejuvenated China as a global powerhouse with a "world-class" military.