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Thread: Chinese Tycoons, CEOs & Tuhao

  1. #1
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    Chinese Tycoons, CEOs & Tuhao

    These stories are starting to become more prevalent so I'm starting this thread. It's another telling barometer of the dragon that is China awakening.

    Some related thread precedents:
    Jet-Li-s-TaijiZen-International-Cultural-Development-Company (a lot about Jack Ma)

    China-s-most-powerful-celebrities

    Chinese Taxi Driver Turned Billionaire Bought Modigliani Painting
    By AMY QINNOV. 10, 2015

    Sold! In China

    The Shanghai financier Liu Yiqian went from taxi driver to multimillionaire. He is also one of China’s most prolific collectors of art. By Jonah M. Kessel on Publish Date December 17, 2013. Photo by The New York Times. Watch in Times Video

    BEIJING — Liu Yiqian, a former taxi driver turned billionaire art collector, confirmed on Tuesday that he was the buyer of the painting of a nude woman by Amedeo Modigliani that sold for $170.4 million at Christie’s New York on Monday night.

    Speaking by telephone from Shanghai, the Chinese collector said he planned to bring the work back to the city, where he and his wife have two private museums.

    “We are planning to exhibit it for the museum’s fifth anniversary,” he said. “It will be an opportunity for Chinese art lovers to see good artworks without having to leave the country, which is one of the main reasons why we founded the museums.”

    Bidding by telephone, Mr. Liu, 52, was one of six people competing for Modigliani’s 1917-18 canvas, “Nu Couché,” during the auction. The final price of $170.4 million with fees was well above the previous auction record of $70.7 million for a work by Modigliani. With Mr. Liu’s winning bid, the painting became the 10th work of art to reach the elite nine-figure club for works sold at auction.

    “Modigliani’s works already have a pretty established value on the market,” Mr. Liu said. “This work is relatively nice compared to his other nude paintings. And his nude paintings have been collected by some of the world’s top museums.”

    As a teenager growing up in Shanghai during the tumultuous years of the Cultural Revolution, Mr. Liu sold handbags on the street and later worked as a taxi driver. After dropping out of middle school, he went on to ride the wave of China’s economic opening and reform, making a fortune through stock trading in real estate and pharmaceuticals in the 1980s and 1990s. According to the 2015 Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Mr. Liu is worth at least $1.5 billion.

    “To me, art collecting is primarily a process of learning about art,” Mr. Liu said in an interview with The New York Times in 2013. “First you must be fond of the art. Then you can have an understanding of it.”

    Mr. Liu, together with his wife, Wang Wei, is one of China’s most visible –—some say flashy — art collectors. Over the years, they have built a vast collection of both traditional and contemporary Chinese art, much of which is displayed in their two museums in Shanghai: the Long Museum Pudong, which opened in 2012; and the Long Museum West Bund, which opened last year. Ms. Wang, 52, is the director of both museums.

    “I first came up with the idea that the Long Museum should collect international objects about two years ago,” said Ms. Wang, adding that her husband has been very supportive of her work.


    Amedeo Modigliani’s “Nu Couché” (1917-18). Credit via Christie’s

    The couple’s collection includes a 15th-century silk hanging, called a thangka, bought by Mr. Liu for $45 million at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong last year. The purchase made headlines when it set the record for a Chinese artwork sold at an international auction.

    With that purchase, Mr. Liu broke a record he had set months earlier when he paid $36.3 million at a Sotheby’s sale for a tiny Ming dynasty porcelain cup known as a “chicken cup.” Soon after, he caused an uproar after a photograph that showed him sipping tea from the antique cup spread online.

    For both record-setting acquisitions, Mr. Liu reportedly paid with an American Express credit card, earning him many millions of reward points.

    The couple’s self-promotion tactics have prompted some in contemporary art circles in China to draw comparisons with the “taxi tycoon” Robert Scull and his wife Ethel, voracious collectors of what came to be known as “Pop Art” in the 1960s but derided by some in the art world as crass nouveaux riche.

    Speaking about Mr. Liu and Ms. Wang, Philip Tinari, director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, said: “These are collectors that have so much money that they acquire taste or they don’t have to have to taste because they buy everything in sight.” He added: “There’s very little discrimination, they just buy the most expensive things. They’re not connoisseurs.”

    “Nu Couché” will be the most expensive artwork in the couple’s collection, Mr. Liu said. But when asked whether he planned to pay with the credit card again, Mr. Liu demurred.

    “The payment method will be carried out in accordance with Christie’s guidelines,” he said.

    A version of this article appears in print on November 11, 2015, on page A26 of the New York edition with the headline: Billionaire Is Buyer of a Modigliani. =
    Gene Ching
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    $48.4 million for a seven-year-old daughter.

    Will Joseph Lau's daughter grow up to be the Asian Paris Hilton? Doubtful.

    Hong Kong tycoon's 7-year-old daughter now owns the world's most expensive diamond ever sold at auction



    On Wednesday, a Hong Kong billionaire bought the extremely rare and ultra-pricey "Blue Moon" diamond for a whopping $48.4 million at a Geneva auction, making it the world's most expensive diamond ever purchased.

    Turns out, that when you pay that much for something you also get to rename it, so the buyer chose to call his newest rock "The Blue Moon of Josephine," after his 7-year-old daughter.



    The flawless 12.03-carat blue diamond has been described as one of the rarest gems in the world. It was whittled down from a 29.6-carat blue diamond discovered in South Africa last year, placed on a ring and now will be worn on special occasions by a primary school kid.

    The record-breaking sale took place at a Sotheby's auction in Geneva. Auctioneer David Bennett said that it sold for more than $4 million per cart, the highest price per carat ever obtained for any kind of stone, the BBC reports.



    Initially, the proud new owner was described only as a "Hong Kong buyer," but it turns out that he wasn't too difficult to track down. The buyer has been confirmed as Joseph Lau, majority owner of property firm Chinese Estates Holdings and the 114th richest person in the world, according to Forbes, with a net worth of more than $10 billion.

    Turns out that buying ultra-expensive jewels for his two daughters, 7-year-old Josephine and 13-year-old Zoe, is kinda Lau's thing.

    Only a day before at a Christie's auction in Geneva, an "anoymous bidder" snatched up a 16.08-carat pink diamond for $28.5 million, dubbing it "Sweet Josephine."



    According to CNN, in 2009, Lau purchased a 7.03-carat blue diamond for $9.48 million, naming it the "Star of Josephine." She's never going to need to wear that cheap piece of garbage ever again.



    In case you are worried about him playing favorites, last November, Zoe received a 9.75-carat blue diamond, bought by her father for $32.6 million and creatively named "The Zoe Diamond," along with a Burmese ruby and diamond brooch weighing 10.10 carats purchased for $8.43 million and named "The Zoe Red."

    We have no idea what Lau has in store for their sweet sixteens.



    But it will be extravagant, back in 2006, Lau purchased an iconic Andy Warhol portrait of Mao Zedong for $16.4 million. He also reportedly built Hong Kong's tallest retail complex and named it "The ONE" after an ex-girlfriend.



    Yesterday we reported on Liu Yiqian, a Chinese taxi driver turned billionaire, who purchased a Modigliani nude for $170.4 million at auction. Expect to see more and more of these kind of stories in the future. A recent Forbes survey found that China now has 596 billionaires -- 715 if you count Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan -- surpassing the United States.

    [Images via NetEase]

    Contact the author of this article or email tips@shanghaiist.com with further questions, comments or tips.
    By Alex Linder in News on Nov 13, 2015 3:45 PM
    Gene Ching
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    I added '& CEOs' to the title of this thread.

    This is somewhat random but it came up in a Kung Fu newsfeed search, so what the heck? Figured I'd add it.

    Golden touch: Global Group founder Johnny Hon talks Kung Fu Panda, the Northern Powerhouse, Glenn Close and human rights
    16 November 2015 2:29am
    by Harriet Green


    Johnny Hon: It’s not easy to say what’s right and what’s wrong

    Did you sell sweets to all your classmates? I ask Johnny Hon, interjecting as he talks about his childhood. “Yes, I did actually,” he chuckles, before moving back to explaining how he never took money from his parents after the age of 18, and ended up selling second-hand cars to fund his education. “They taught me how to be independent from an early age; to be open-minded and appreciate people from all sections of society.”

    It wasn’t that the Global Group founder’s family were ever short of a few bob – he came to the UK aged 12 to study at Uppingham School before attending King’s College London and Cambridge University. But spotting business opportunities and making the most of them seems to have been hard-wired into Hon.

    After a stint in private banking and forex in the Middle East, he began a PhD in psychiatry. It was while at Cambridge that he started to build his business, putting Chinese entrepreneurs in touch with students who could help them create business plans. Now, Global Group’s range is vast, and Hon’s business interests almost endless. He is (and this is just a current selection) the executive chairman of his own company and Gate Ventures, which he also founded, a senior consultant for Pearl Oriental Oil, a fellow of the University of Buckingham, an adviser to the Chinese and Armenian governments, director of Infinity Creative Media, chairman of his own film company, and vice chairman of Sotheby’s International Realty. His financial-based interests alone stretch from a stake in a lottery in China to a bank in the Comoros Islands and an online gambling firm in London. But he’s a benefactor of the Duke of Edinburgh Award World Fellowship, and funds scholarships at Oxford, Cambridge and Peking Universities. “I did think about pursuing medicine. But I realised that making money means you can do a lot more good than just one doctor.”

    Hon has always worked between Hong Kong and London, and says that the aim of his firm is to “bridge gaps. Historically, we’ve got more of a connection with Britain than with other Western nations. The US sees China as competition; the UK sees the opportunity for trade. Lots of Chinese people know British brands.” Hon mentions the Northern Powerhouse, explaining that one of the reasons it’s such an appealing prospect to the Chinese is that “northern cities are premium brand names in China because of football teams. Chinese people love football like they love the royal family.”

    BAMBOO BLIND
    But the entrepreneur is also aware of the differences between the two nations – and he puts a lot of it down to geography. “The thing is, the Western culture started around the Mediterranean. That’s a peaceful sea. The Yangtze river isn’t like that: it floods all the time, it kills people. In the West, the individual became the most important thing because people had more time to think about the self, their relationship to god. That didn’t happen in places of flooding.”

    This thinking extends to human rights. He mentions the trolley problem, the ethical dilemma which states that there are five people tied down to a railway track with a train bearing down on them. You have the power to switch the train off the track, but then realise that there’s one person standing in the sidings. Who do you save? “In China, people would always choose to save the many over the one person. It would be out of the question to do anything else. When we’re talking about human rights, we need to remember that, to lots of people, some are more important than others. It’s not easy to say what’s right and what’s wrong.”

    MUSICAL OVERTONES
    Understandably, Hon is also accommodative of different ways of doing business. A good example, he says, is agreeing on and delivering a contract. “In the West, you sign a contract and it’s set in stone. In the East, it is perfectly common for a contract to undergo ongoing renegotiation. And it’s seen as a good thing to do – it keeps the spirit in the agreement.”

    And his open-mindedness helps him to spot opportunity. One of the nifty approaches he is currently taking is “repackaging” brands. “Littlewoods, for instance, may not be so popular here anymore, but it’s a brand that could work in China. There’s a rapidly expanding middle class who have the same appetite for knowledge and desire for quality as the British – but the products and services aren’t available.”

    He’s already acting on this when it comes to TV. A confessed arts buff with several film executive producer roles under his belt, Hon’s set his sights on a UK-made series, teaming up with Lord Grade, former chairman of the BBC. “In my view, TV is done a lot better here. The Chinese all watch Kung Fu Panda. It’s not like the Chinese can’t draw pandas, it’s because the animation is better.” And Hon is also taking the musical to China. “The musical is a new concept in China, and I think it will be very popular.” Again, the key is to be savvy enough to dress up something for a new audience: we might be Lloyd Webber-jaded, but there’s no reason for other nations to be. A couple of weeks ago, Hon attended the London launch of Sunset Boulevard, which Gate Ventures invested in. When we met, just beforehand, he was “extremely excited – and a lot of that is because I love Glenn Close.”

    If anything, Hon sees China’s slowing economy as a golden opportunity. “The rate that property prices in China are rising is slowing. I believe that’s a good thing, long-term. And in the more immediate future, when the economy isn’t going as fast, entertainment products always work best.” Because of this, he is looking to invest increasingly across entertainment, technology and e-commerce businesses. “Think about Hollywood during the Great Depression. Really, people just need to be able to dream a bit.”

    CV JOHNNY HON
    Company name: Global Group

    Founded: 1997

    Number of staff: 80

    Turnover: $100m a year

    Job title: Executive chairman

    Age: 44

    Born: Hong Kong

    Lives: Hong Kong, but I come to London every month

    Studied: King’s College London, BSc in biomedical sciences; SOAS, MA in Korean studies; Cambridge University, PhD in psychiatry

    Drinking: Fine wines

    Eating: Steak

    Currently reading: No time for reading currently

    Favourite Business Book: Don’t really have one

    Talents: Strategy, diplomacy and high net worth client management

    Heroes: Nelson Mandela

    First ambition: To build something

    Motto: “Never give up. Never surrender.”

    Awards: Medal of Honour from the government of Hong Kong
    Gene Ching
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    Only a week old and already this is post #5

    This thread is the new barometer of the waking dragon.

    NOVEMBER 18, 2015
    Hong Kong Billionaire Is Offering $180,000,000 To Any Man Willing To Marry His Daughter
    HK Billionaire Offers HK500mil to changes His Daugther Sexual Orientation



    You might have read about Cecil Chao before, he is a Chinese billionaire who made his fortune through a company called Cheuk Nang Holdings Ltd a huge real estate conglomerate that focuses on the development of luxury high rises and trophy properties in Hong Kong.

    He is known for making outlandish statements such as the time he was quoted by the Hong Kong media for saying he had bedded over 10,000 women in his lifetime. Most famous of all his public announcements was in 2012 when he offered $60,000,000 USD in the form of a “dowry” (which is a parental transfer of money or property) to whichever man could turn his daughter strait. He came back in 2014 upping the ante to $120,000,000 USD. And now he’s back to say the bounty is now $180,000,000 to who ever can get the job done.

    The way I’m looking at it is like this I can get a non stop flight from Texas to Hong Kong on American Airlines for $1,561, or try Hong Kong’s own airline Cathay Pacific for $1,699. If I wanted to save a few bucks I saw some connecting flights on United and Delta Airlines for right around $1,000. That’s approximately 120,000 – 180,000 times your money. I don’t think anything in life really offered you that type of return on your investment, and if all else fails well I know I’ve spent $1,000 on dumber things before.

    May the best man win!


    (The chick in the bow tie is your competition.)
    Gene Ching
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    I'm adding 'Tuhao' to this thread.

    This is exactly the trend that inspired me to start this here thread.

    Tuhao = 土豪

    The Rise of the Tuhao
    The same group of entitled nouveau riche that gives China a bad name abroad is reviled at home as well.
    By David Volodzko
    August 03, 2015



    Zheng Bijian, author of the phrase “China’s peaceful rise,” once wrote that as China’s development wins the attention of the world, it becomes increasingly important to understand its path. He explained that “economic growth alone does not provide a full picture of a country’s development. China has a population of 1.3 billion. Any small difficulty in its economic or social development, spread over this vast group, could become a huge problem.”

    These words were penned 10 years ago, and in the decade since China’s social development has been stunning: brimming with ambition, globally instrumental, and touching the highest peaks of human progress. But at the very top of Chinese society, the peaks are narrow and the valleys below are deep and wide. One of the difficulties in China’s recent development is the emergence of a new social class of economic elites known as tuhao. These are China’s nouveau riche, though the term itself means something more offensive, and deservedly so.

    “Tuhao” comprises the characters for “earth” and “powerful” (I prefer the translation “dirty rich”) and is an ancient reference to oppressive landlords that was given new life in 2013 when a joke went viral on the microblogging site Weibo. In the joke, a rich but unhappy young man asks a Buddhist monk for advice, to which the monk, cognizant of the young man’s wealth, replies, “Let’s be friends!” Since then, the term has been adopted into common use; the Oxford English Dictionary added “tuhao” to its 2014 edition.
    Also, check out what I just posted in our Buddhist-life-release thread.
    Gene Ching
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  7. #7
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    Missing CEOs

    The paradoxical thing about Chinese Tycoons is, of course, China is still communist.

    Chinese executives keep going missing
    By Sophia Yan @sophia_yan



    Top company executives in China keep vanishing, and some never return to their posts.
    This week, it was the CEO of the Hong Kong arm of one of China's largest brokerages who disappeared; a few months ago, the president of a giant bank.

    Once they go missing, there's no telling when they'll resurface. In some cases, they show up again -- perhaps months later, and offering little explanation.
    In others, state media report that the executive has been caught up in a government investigation, into insider dealing or bribery, for example. Few details are ever revealed.
    Some of these cases appear to be linked to a campaign against corruption launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013. But lately, more seem to be tied to investigations related to China's summer stock crash. Officials have been casting around for people to blame for the wild market swings.
    Either way, the bizarre case of China's missing executives has observers puzzled. Here's a look at four recent examples of unexplained absences:

    1. Guotai Junan International
    The Hong Kong subsidiary of a major state-owned Chinese brokerage reported on Monday that its CEO, Yim Fung, was missing. Shares tumbled 12% after Guotai Junan International said that it had been unable to reach Yim since last week, and had no idea of his whereabouts.
    Local media reports suggest that Yim is being detained in connection with the investigation of a senior government official -- Yao Gang, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the country's stock market regulator. Yao was general manager at Guotai Junan from 1999 to 2002, according to the CSRC website.
    Neither the company, nor the government, has said anything about why Yim has disappeared.
    Related: Giant Chinese brokerage can't find its CEO

    2. China Minsheng Bank
    Early this year, a respected financial news magazine in China reported that Minsheng's president, Mao Xiaofeng, couldn't be reached after he was detained to help with an investigation. Then, in February, the bank announced in an exchange filing that he had resigned for "personal reasons."
    Months later, there's still no clarity or confirmation on what exactly happened to Mao, and Minsheng's shares have plummeted 20% this year.
    Several other financial executives have been caught up in these government probes. Chinese state media reported that Zhang Yun, president of Agricultural Bank of China, one of the world's largest banks, was detained to assist officials with an investigation.
    Xu Xiang, a high profile fund manager with Shanghai-based Zexi Investment, has also been arrested and is being investigated for alleged insider trading, reported state media, citing the Ministry of Public Security.
    Related: Top China banker implicated in corruption probe

    3. China Aircraft
    CEO Poon Ho Man resigned with immediate effect in a letter received June 17 by the company board, according to a description of the letter in a June 19 exchange filing. He had been on leave for a month, and gave no reasons for his decision to quit.
    His resignation letter also made no reference to media reports linking him to a government investigation into China Southern Airlines, one of the company's customers. And China Aircraft seems to know very little.
    "Except for news reported in the media, the Board does not have any information on the status of the alleged investigations, nor has the Board received any notice that Mr. Poon is under any kind of investigation," China Aircraft said in the filing.
    The company also said it had been unable to contact Poon since receiving his resignation, and was "unable to verify the source of information of the news in the media." Its shares plunged 19% on June 19, and the stock has lost 26% so far this year.

    4. Hanergy
    Hanergy chairman Li Hejun, once China's richest man, failed to show up for the company's annual shareholder meeting in May. The meeting was just getting started as Hanergy shares began plunging, losing 47% in just one hour. That wiped $18.6 billion off the company's market value.
    Trading was eventually suspended pending an announcement "containing inside information," but the company hasn't clarified much since, and dealing is still halted.
    Plenty of analysts were already skeptical about Hanergy's astonishing rise -- the stock had soared 625% in 2015 before the crash. They were concerned about market manipulation and inflated profits, particularly after the company said 60% of sales came from its parent company.
    A company spokesperson later said Li was attending the opening of Hanergy's clean energy exhibition in Beijing instead of addressing shareholders. In late May, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission said in a statement it was conducting a formal investigation into Hanergy, but gave no details.
    The statements only raised more questions, especially when it was revealed in exchange filings that Li himself had upped his bet that Hanergy shares would fall.
    Things took an even stranger turn when, in a rare speech in September, Li denied shorting Hanergy stock himself, and instead blamed outside investors for malicious short selling, causing the company's spectacular fall.
    Gene Ching
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    Goldfinger is Chinese?

    I thought Dr. No was the Chinese Bond villain...

    Woman spends 3.5 million yuan on 13.35 kg of gold bars
    (People's Daily Online) 08:48, December 02, 2015



    A woman spent 3.5 million yuan on 13.55 kg of gold bars Sunday in northeast China's Jilin province. It has been the 7th year for her to keep buying the gold.
    The Monkey Year gold bars issued by China Gold Coin Corporation officially entered the market of Jilin province Sunday. With a price of 267 yuan per gram, 90 kg gold bars were sold out immediately.
    "The gold sales in the past 10 years shows that people like to collect the gold, especially gold bars," said a staff member of the Jilin Gold Coin Corporation. With expectations for the Fed’s decision to increase the interest rate, the decline in International gold price accelerated in November, hitting a new low in six years. As of Nov. 28, the international gold price reached $1,057.88 an ounce and the domestic spot price of gold hit 219.2 yuan a gram. Therefore, the New Year gold bullion price also hit a new low since 2010. The relative low price created a new round of gold buying spree.
    The staff member who sold the gold to the woman said the woman is around 50 years of age. It has been the 7th year for her to buy the New Year gold bullion. Last year she bought 10 kg of gold worth 2.7 million yuan; she bought the largest amount of gold this year with a value of more than 3.5 million yuan.
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    Guo Guangchang missing

    I'm trying to imagine what would happen if major tycoons went missing in the U.S. Like what would happen if Trump went missing now?

    Have you seen this man? China's Warren Buffett gone missing



    Reportedly last seen carried away by the strong hand of the law in a Shanghai airport, 48 year-old billionaire Guo Guangchang has seemingly disappeared. It is unclear if Guo is being detained, but he has been unreachable since Sunday, as his phone has been shut off.
    Guo is the chairman of Fosun, one of the largest private investment firms in China. He has a net worth of $7 billion and is the 11th richest man in the country, according to Forbes. He's the same guy that bought the One Chase Manhattan Plaza skyscraper in 2013 for a cool $725 million.



    Earlier this year, a Shanghai court filing alleges Guo had inappropriate connections to Wang Zongnan, the former chairman of a state-owned enterprise who is now imprisoned for the misuse of 195 million yuan, reports Caixin.
    Since 2013, Guo has repeatedly fought against accusations that he is being investigated for corruption.



    In an e-mail provided by Reuters, Fosun claims: "[We] never sought to inappropriately benefit from cooperation with [Wang's] Friendship Group and never delivered benefits to Wang Zongnan."
    In a text message, Fosun says they are "handling the situation." In the meantime, the company has halted trading in shares of its listed units, just in case.



    Of course, it is certainly possible that Guo simply hurt his back while swimming, but it is starting to seem likely that the man known as "China's Warren Buffett" may be the latest victim in Chinese President Xi Jinping's never-ending fight against corruption.
    By Mary DeMay
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    More on Guo

    Shares plunge after 'China's Warren Buffett' caught in probe
    by Sophia Yan @sophia_yan
    December 14, 2015: 5:26 AM ET

    Why are China's rich facing government scrutiny?

    Shares of a Chinese conglomerate plunged Monday in Hong Kong after the company announced last week that its billionaire chairman had been caught up in a government probe.
    Fosun International shares tumbled 10%, while Fosun Pharmaceutical lost around 12%. Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index was down 0.7%.

    Both companies were suspended from trading last Friday after its chairman, Guo Guangchang, was reported to be missing. The parent company later confirmed that Guo was assisting authorities in an investigation.
    The firms are linked to Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group, which has interests in everything from real estate to entertainment, and recently bought the luxury resort chain Club Med. It also owns a stake in Cirque du Soleil. In 2013, it bought the landmark One Chase Manhattan Plaza skyscraper.
    Guo is China's 17th richest man, with an estimated wealth of about $7.8 billion, according to the Hurun Report, which publishes a ranking of China's wealthy. The billionaire has described himself as a student of famed investor Warren Buffett.
    Photos surfaced on social media Monday that appeared to show Guo speaking at the company's annual meeting. While the photos appear to be from today, Fosun hasn't confirmed his attendance. Calls to the company went unanswered.
    A string of top Chinese executives have mysteriously disappeared this year, as officials crack down on the financial sector, casting around for individuals to blame for the country's summer stock market crash. Once individuals go missing, there's no telling when they'll resurface; if they do, there's often scant information about what happened.
    The strange case of China's missing CEOs underscores the murky nature of China's legal system, where confessions are sometimes coerced, and trials can happen behind closed doors. Since President Xi Jinping took office in 2013, a widening anti-corruption campaign has swept up scores of executives and businessmen in a similarly opaque way.
    China's largest brokerage firm, Citic Securities, said last week it wasn't able to get in touch with two top executives. Citic had previously disclosed that the firm, and a number of its executives, were under investigation by Chinese market regulators.
    In late November, the Hong Kong subsidiary of another major Chinese brokerage said its CEO, Yim Fung, had been missing since November 18, and appointed a replacement. The company, Guotai Junan, hasn't said anything since, and Yim's whereabouts are still unknown.
    Zhang Xun, president of the Agricultural Bank of China, and well-known fund manager Xu Xiang have also been detained, Chinese state media have reported.
    Hundreds of people have been arrested for alleged rumor-mongering following the wild stock market swings, including prominent journalists, and even officials with China's securities regulator.

    CNNMoney (Hong Kong)
    First published December 13, 2015: 10:54 PM ET
    Why are China's rich facing government scrutiny? Because even with China's economic boom, it's still a communist nation.
    Gene Ching
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  11. #11
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    Guo is back

    Billionaire Guo Guangchang reappears, acts as if he never disappeared



    The disappearance last week of the 11th richest man in China, Guo Guangchang, attracted attention from major international news agencies, such as the BBC, CNN, the Guardian, and the Wall Street Journal. The billionaire abruptly reappeared at a Shanghai company event yesterday without acknowledging that he had gone missing.



    It was first speculated that he was detained by police for graft, as witnesses claimed they saw him dragged away by police at a Shanghai airport.
    On Friday, Fosun, Guangchang's investment firm, affirmed that Guangchang was with police, saying he was "aiding an investigation." It is common in China for officials to first claim they are "assisting investigations" before they are officially named as suspects.



    Guo appeared only briefly at the Fosun strategy meeting at the Kerry Hotel Pudong yesterday morning. People there said he didn't address his disappearance nor the investigation, and that he left before the meeting was over.
    There were no police seen at the hotel, but professional security officers kept reporters away from the ballroom. Nobody has mentioned if the security was wearing smiley stickers.



    Guo's whereabouts are once again unknown. Following his disappearing act, the share price of Fosun International Ltd dropped nearly 10% and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical fell from 12% to 3.8%, underscoring the uncertainty of the situation.



    By Mary DeMay
    Contact the author of this article or email tips@shanghaiist.com with further questions, comments or tips.
    By Shanghaiist in News on Dec 15, 2015 1:00 PM
    Suspicious?
    Gene Ching
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  12. #12
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    Didn't even know this was a thing...

    Internet tycoons are weird all around the world.

    LOOK: Chinese internet tycoons get dressed up for corporate CNY galas



    As part of Chinese New Year celebrations, those at the very top of some of China's largest companies will be dressing up to appear as the star of the company gala. Here's a selection of some of the best outfits from previous years.
    A frequent staple at the annual gala are figures from Chinese history. Here is Giant Interactive president Shi Yuzhu's tribute to the Jade Emperor.



    And Xiaomi founder Lei Jun's took the role of Caishen, the Chinese deity of wealth.



    Netease CEO Ding Lei turned up as a "Chinese zombie" to his company's event in 2014.



    Baidu chairman Robin Li once masqueraded as Zorro back in 2012.



    He also happens to be a pretty awesome drummer.



    But despite the stiff competition, the man to steal the show is everyone's favorite internet tycoon Jack Ma, who delighted audiences when he turned up in a lovely frilly dress.



    Who is the fairest of them all? You decide. We just hope that 2016 will live up to expectations.
    [Images via DFIC / Xinhua]
    Contact the author of this article or email tips@shanghaiist.com with further questions, comments or tips.
    By Shanghaiist in News on Jan 21, 2016 11:00 PM
    Gene Ching
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  13. #13
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    Another rags to riches

    WATCH: Self-made billionaire Zhang Xin to Christiane Amanpour: 'I don't know how much I'm worth'



    On the sidelines of the Davos WEF conference, Soho China chief exec Zhang Xin took a moment with CNN to contemplate the state of the country's economy and discuss being richer than Donald Trump -- sort of.
    China's favorite rags to riches success story, Zhang came from inauspicious beginnings, working as a 14-year-old in a Hong Kong textiles factory. But after being accepted to Cambridge University, she would start her considerably lucrative career with the Goldman Sachs & Travelers Group. In 1995, she and husband Pan Shiyi founded real-estate developer Soho China. Known for developing properties designed by the likes of Yamamoto and Zaha Hadid, Soho has made profits of nearly $2 billion.
    Referred to as the "it couple" of China, Zhang and Pan are also known for following Baha'i faith and preaching of the country's need for spiritual unity.
    Zhang apparently has a talent for self-deprecation, calling her past self "annoying" and "very arrogant."
    In her interview with Christiane Amanpour, Zhang modestly hems and haws at her wealth being compared to the likes of Oprah Winfrey. "I don't know the numbers, actually," she smiles. Smooth player, that one.
    Watch the interview below:
    https://www.facebook.com/camanpour/v...6505376045370/

    (btw, Forbes has her at $2.5 billion)
    [Video via Facebook]
    Contact the author of this article or email tips@shanghaiist.com with further questions, comments or tips.
    By Shanghaiist in News on Jan 22, 2016 6:30 PM
    I don't know how much I'm worth either. But it ain't $2.5 bill, that's for sure.
    Gene Ching
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  14. #14
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    Crashed the Ferrari with two half-naked, women in the car...

    ...definitely Tuhao material.

    Secret Chinese documents leaked to the US all lead back to semi-naked women and a Ferrari
    PRI's The World
    February 05, 2016 · 2:30 PM EST
    By Bradley Campbell (follow)


    Ling Jihua, newly elected vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), pauses while attending the opening ceremony of the CPPCC at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 3, 2013. Credit: Jason Lee/Reuters


    In modern China, it's totally possible to have top Communist Party officials and Ferrari driving playboys in the same family.

    Totally possible.

    But sometimes when the lines blur, the results can be ugly.

    Take the case of Ling Wangchen and his brother, Ling Jihua.

    Ling Jihua was a top Chinese leader. And he’s believed to have handed over top secret documents to his brother Wangchen who, it is believed, handed them over to individuals in the US.

    “So what happened was Ling Jihua’s son was driving very late in the evening in a Ferrari that he somehow managed to purchase, despite his parents’ nominally modest salaries as government officials,” says Isaac Stone Fish with Foreign Policy. “He crashed the Ferrari with two half-naked, women in the car.”

    The crash injured the women, and killed the son. Officials gave the women hush money. Ling Jihua hoped it would be the end of it. Not so, according to Stone Fish. “Ling Jihua’s enemies used this to peg him on corruption,” he says. “He was deposed and arrested.”

    Wangchen flew to the US and passed those documents along, ultimately to the FBI/CIA. According to reports, the documents appear to include nuclear secrets and embarrassing facts about the communist government.

    Stone Fish says he likely did it in an effort to protect his brother. “Wangchen could trade the information back to Beijing for perhaps more lenient sentencing or a get out of jail free card,” he says.

    We don’t know where the brothers are right now. Jihau may be in a Chinese jail cell, or a high-end villa. Wangchen is believed to still be in the US. Stone Fish thinks the whole story could be trumpted to upwardly mobile Chinese citizens as a warning to not be so unbridled with wealth and greed.

    “I think if there was one great takeaway for any top Chinese officials listening it’s this: Keep your children in line.”
    Gene Ching
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  15. #15
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    “Instant noodle billionaire” Li Ruipeng

    Who hands out a quarter of a million dollars worth of Rolexes from a plastic bag?

    “Instant noodle billionaire” Li Ruipeng, that's who.

    Tony Abbott and other Liberals took Rolexes they thought were fake
    Tony Abbott, Stuart Robert and Ian Macfarlane were given $250,000 worth of watches out of a plastic bag by Chinese instant noodle billionaire Li Ruipeng


    Tony Abbott and Ian Macfarlane are among the Liberal MPs who accepted designer watches out of a plastic bag from the ‘instant noodle billionaire’ Li Ruipeng. Photograph: Dan Peled/AAP

    Elle Hunt @mlle_elle
    Tuesday 9 February 2016 20.01 EST Last modified on Wednesday 10 February 2016 04.19 EST

    A group of Liberal party MPs, including the former prime minister and then federal opposition leader Tony Abbott, are under scrutiny over $250,000 worth of designer watches they were given by a visiting billionaire from China almost three years ago – that were assumed to be fakes.

    Among them is the embattled MP Stuart Robert, who was then the opposition’s defence, science, technology and personnel spokesman, and is now under intense political pressure over a controversial trip to China in 2014.

    “Instant noodle billionaire” Li Ruipeng, the chair of the Li Guancheng Investment Management Group, gave Abbott, Robert and the then opposition industry spokesman, Ian Macfarlane, designer watches out of a plastic bag at an informal dinner at Parliament House in June 2013 as a goodwill gesture.

    There were also watches for Abbott’s wife, Margie, and Robert’s wife, Chantelle, who were not present at the dinner – but not Abbott’s then chief of staff, Peta Credlin, who was.

    (The then Queensland minister Rob Molhoek also received a Cartier Ballon Bleu bracelet watch, valued at $23,400, from Guancheng in 2013 – the most expensive gift received by any Newman government official in that financial year, and surrendered by Molhoek to the Ministerial Services Branch.)

    Macfarlane, assuming his Rolex was a fake worth between $300 and $500, declared the gift with the clerk of the House of Representatives but kept it (“and wore it occasionally,” says the Herald Sun).

    Macfarlane had the watch valued in Sydney after the September federal election, after the then Liberal candidate for Moore, Ian Goodenough, favourably compared it to his own, genuine Rolex.

    Macfarlane was told his watch was worth about $40,000 – and his had obviously not been as expensive as those given to Abbott and Margie Abbott.

    Though the clerk told him he was entitled to keep it, he returned it to Li Ruipeng’s company and alerted Liberal “fixer” Tony Nutt, who – the Australian Financial Review reports – ordered the immediate collection of the watches so that they could be returned.

    Robert and Abbott complied – though a spokesman for Abbott denied it was on Nutt’s advice.

    The spokesman told Guardian Australia that the two watches given to him were declared as well, though Abbott had also taken them to be fake. It wasn’t so much the gift, as the way it was given, he said.

    “My understanding is that they were handed over in a plastic bag, as has been reported, and I think everybody was of the same view,” he said.

    “They were declared in the normal way. As with most parliamentarians, it’s better to over declare than under declare but I believe Mr Abbott was of the understanding that they were fake, given the way that they were handed over, and, when it became apparent that they weren’t, they were handed over straight away.”

    Asked by Guardian Australia whether Robert had, like Macfarlane, assumed at first the watch was a fake, a spokesman said there was “nothing to add to the story that’s not already out there” but confirmed that it had been returned.

    Macfarlane’s office has been contacted for comment.

    Less than a year later in August 2014, Robert, the then assistant defence minister, took what he says was a “personal” trip to Beijing with friend and Liberal Party donor Paul Marks to celebrate a mining deal.

    He is now fighting to save his ministerial career as Labor accuses the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, of failing to enforce his own standards.

    Phillip Coorey writes in the Australian Financial Review that Roberts “should have learned from the watches to tread warily in China”.

    The senior public servant Martin Parkinson will determine whether Robert breached the ministerial code of conduct with his trip to China.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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