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Thread: Chinese Tycoons, CEOs & Tuhao

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Wang Sicong under scrutiny again

    More on Wang Sicong

    Billionaire's son is the latest target of China's social credit system
    A failure to pay his debts within the given time will see Wang Sicong join the ranks of “discredited” people.
    A look inside China's social credit system
    JUNE 4, 201907:51
    Nov. 13, 2019, 1:35 AM PST
    By Dawn Liu

    BEIJING, China — A high-profile Chinese businessman is on the brink of becoming a social outcast and being banned from his lavish spending habits by the courts if he doesn't pay back $21.5 million debt, even though he is the son a well-known real estate tycoon.

    Wang Sicong, the son of the billionaire owner of AMC Theaters, Wang Jianlin, was last week listed in the national database of the Supreme Court of China of debtors and defaulters with outstanding debt. A failure to pay within the given time will see him join the ranks of “discredited” people.

    China is experimenting with a score-based social credit system which is designed to create a society of trust and sincerity by rewarding good behavior and punishing the dishonesty. Once someone is discredited, they could face a harsh penalty and a lifelong stain on their character.

    Huang Weijun, a former discredited man who owed $86,000 to a company, had to endure many limitations.

    “I only had the option of taking a bus to travel from another city to my city, which took more than 20 hours,” Huang said. “My private property was frozen and I wasn’t allowed to sell my house or make investments, before I paid the debt.”

    Image: Businessman Wang Sicong in Shanghai, China.Businessman Wang Sicong in Shanghai, China.VCG / Getty file

    Wang is still one step away from being discredited but is already banned from taking flights, staying at five-star hotels, going to golf clubs, visiting nightclubs, or taking vacations, by order of the court.

    Wang has been known for flaunting his wealth on social media. He has used social media to post pictures of his extravagant sports cars and expensive meals and to show that he'd spent $36,000 on a few Apple watches for his pet dog.

    Wang’s predicament stemmed from a financial dispute, caused by the bankruptcy of his online game live streaming company Panda TV earlier this year, which landed him a lawsuit.

    In October, Wang was banned from high-level spending and the fund of his private equity firm Prometheus Capital was frozen by two courts in Shanghai.

    As China’s most famous and outspoken “second generation” rich person, Wang has around 44 million fans on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter. But for the past six months, he hasn’t posted any content.

    “When he is restricted on high consumption, some of his partners might need to consider if he is financially capable and those who owe money to him might delay the payment,” Hunan-based lawyer Liu Jingcheng said. “It is very bad for his business.”

    “If Wang can’t solve this issue, his dad should able to solve this,” Liu said, “But his dad didn’t do so, which might suggest there is some capital issue in his family.”

    On Monday, Wang issued a statement through his team on the website of Prometheus Capital.

    “Mr. Wang also has many other investments and his other achievements should not be neglected due to his one failure,” the statement reads, “Currently he is doing everything he can to cope with the situation and has already come up with a solution. We are fully capable of solving our problems.”

    Dawn Liu
    Dawn Liu is a researcher for NBC News based in Beijing.

    Leou Chen contributed.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #62
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Meng Wanzhou

    Huawei CEO says his daughter should be proud she became a 'bargaining chip' in the trade war
    By Kristie Lu Stout and Yuli Yang, CNN Business
    Updated 7:47 AM ET, Sun December 1, 2019

    Shenzhen (CNN Business)Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei, has been called the face of the US-China trade war.

    But to Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, she is the daughter he praises for her year of "suffering."
    "She should be proud to have been caught in this situation. In the fight between the two nations, she became a bargaining chip," Ren said in an interview with CNN Business on Tuesday.
    Meng was detained in Canada at the request of US authorities one year ago on Sunday. She remains under house arrest in Vancouver and is awaiting a hearing on her possible extradition to the United States. She and Huawei face a number of charges — including bank fraud, trade secrets theft and skirting US sanctions on Iran — in US federal courts.
    Meng and Huawei deny the charges.
    Huawei, the world's biggest telecommunications maker and a leading smartphone brand, has become a flashpoint in the trade war. Washington says Huawei poses a national security risk and engages in business that runs counter to US foreign policy interests. The company denies those allegations.
    But the United States has been ratcheting up the pressure. Earlier this year, Huawei was placed on a US trade blacklist. The restriction bars American firms such as Google (GOOGL), Intel (INTC) and Micron (MICR) from doing business with Huawei unless they obtain a US government license to do so. Some US firms, such as Microsoft, received limited licenses last week.
    Ren is now fighting to ensure the company's survival. He has often compared Huawei to a bullet-ridden plane and employees to mechanics working frantically to patch the holes. At the company's headquarters in Shenzhen, there are black and white posters plastered on walls showing a World War II-era aircraft shot through with bullets, but still flying — a reminder to staff of what's at stake.

    Huawei Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou, leaves her Vancouver home to appear in British Columbia Supreme Court on September 23, 2019.

    Meng, Ren said, is also suffering and will be stronger for it.
    "The experience of hardship and suffering is good for Meng and her growth. Under the grand backdrop of the ... trade war, she is like a small ant being caught between the collision of two giant powers," Ren said.
    Meng spends her time painting and studying, and her mom and husband fly to Canada regularly to stay with her, according to Ren.
    The 75-year-old executive said the ordeal has brought him closer to his daughter. There's no routine, but he says they chat more than they did before, and he sometimes sends her funny stories he finds online.
    "In the past, Meng Wanzhou might not give me a single call in a whole year. She wouldn't ask how I was, or even send me a text message," Ren said. "Now, our relationship has become much closer."
    Days after Meng's arrest in Vancouver, diplomatic relations between China and Canada soured. China arrested two Canadian citizens — former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor.
    Beijing has charged them with espionage and denies that their arrests are related to Meng's case.
    Ren said he doesn't know the details of Kovrig and Spavor's arrests, adding that he is in no position to comment on the situation.
    Kovrig has yet to see his lawyer or family, according to the International Crisis Group, his employer. Spavor's current status could not be determined.
    Meng will officially challenge her extradition to the United States next January.
    As for her future at Huawei, one thing is certain: She won't be getting a promotion.
    "Hardships like this one will have a major impact on a person's grit and character. However, when she returns to Huawei, it doesn't mean that she'll be given greater responsibilities," said Ren.
    As CFO, she can handle financial matters, but she is ill equipped to take on other aspects of the business because she doesn't have a background in technology and doesn't have what it takes to lead, according to Ren.
    "If the company is led by someone without strategic acumen, the company will gradually lose its competitive edge. That's why when Meng comes back, she'll continue to do what she has been doing all along," he said.
    — Sherisse Pham contributed to this report.
    It's a strange feather to put in one's cap, but I get it.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  3. #63
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    ttt 4 2020

    ‘Completely normal’ man who chopped Chinese millionaire Yuan Gang into 108 pieces found guilty of manslaughter in Vancouver
    Zhao Li had faced a murder charge but judge said it had not been proven that he intended to kill Yuan when he shot him
    Killer said he dismembered Yuan ‘like a bear’, following a fatal argument in which Yuan said he wanted to marry Zhao’s TV star daughter
    Ian Young in Vancouver
    Published: 9:55am, 8 Jan, 2020

    Chinese businessman Yuan Gang lived a playboy's lifestyle before his 2015 murder. Photo: BC Supreme Court

    A man who killed a Chinese millionaire then chopped him into 108 pieces in his Vancouver mansion has been found not guilty of the businessman’s murder, after a judge ruled that the intent to kill had not been proved.
    British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Terence Schultes instead found Zhao Li, 59, guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter, as well as interfering with human remains.
    Outside the court on Tuesday, Zhao’s lawyer Ian Donaldson praised the ruling and said his client was a “completely normal” man, whose actions on May 2, 2015, were considered “unthinkable” by those who knew him.
    Zhao, an experienced hunter, did not dispute having shot dead Yuan Gang, 42, with a rifle in the driveway of his home, nor that he then cut Yuan’s body into 108 pieces in the garage, putting the remains in plastic bags. Yuan and Zhao both lived in the home, with Zhao’s wife Li Xioming, who is Yuan’s cousin.

    Florence Zhao is the star of the reality show Ultra Rich Asian Girls. Photo: HBIC TV

    But Zhao’s lawyers said he was provoked when Yuan told Zhao that he wanted to marry Zhao’s daughter, Florence Zhao, then a 26-year-old reality TV performer who starred in the show Ultra Rich Asian Girls and regarded Yuan as her uncle. She was already married to another man at the time.
    He’s a completely normal, sensible and well-adjusted human being. Until this day [of the killing]
    Zhao Li’s lawyer Ian Donaldson
    An argument spiralled into a deadly confrontation in which Zhao struck Yuan with a hammer, fracturing his skull, then shot him twice in the driveway of the house, with the fatal shot delivered from near point-blank range, Schultes said.
    Zhao, who stands about 155cm tall, said he was afraid of the much bigger Yuan, and his lawyers depicted him as a timid and non-confrontational man.
    After neighbours heard the shots, police were called and a special operations team surrounded the home in the elite British Properties neighbourhood, while Zhao set about butchering Yuan’s remains with a power saw and a knife.
    “He was dealing with it as he would have dealt with an animal carcass,” said Schultes as he read his verdict.
    However, Zhao’s gruesome actions after the killing had “no probative value” in determining whether Zhao was guilty of second-degree murder, or manslaughter, Schultes ruled.

    Yuan Gang in an undated file photo from social media. Photo: Weibo

    Other relatives of Yuan have depicted the killing as the culmination of a financial dispute between Yuan and Zhao.
    Donaldson said outside court that the verdict was a “fortunate outcome” for Zhao but one which the defence had pursued.
    “It will take him a while to process it … he’s a thoughtful man,” said Donaldson of his client. “The evidence didn’t support murder.”
    Zhao was a man of “previously unblemished character”, Donaldson said.
    He was dealing with it as he would have dealt with an animal carcass
    Mr Justice Terence Schultes describing Zhao Li’s dismemberment of Yuan Gang
    “He’s a completely normal, sensible and well-adjusted human being,” the lawyer said. “Until this day [of the killing]. Non-violent. Non-anything. That kind of report came to us from all sorts of different people. Completely non-violent: one of the witnesses said that this was the last thing in the world he would ever expect to hear concerning Mr Zhao.”

    A 2015 courtroom sketch of Zhao Li. Illustration: Reuters

    The case has riveted Vancouver’s Chinese community with its lurid details of Yuan’s killing and his private affairs.
    In addition to the British Properties home, Yuan also owned a 10-bedroom mansion in expensive Shaughnessy, as well as a private island, luxury cars and a multimillion-dollar yacht.
    Shaughnessy hosts a high concentration of Chinese wealth.
    Huawei CFO Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, who is fighting a US bid for her extradition from Canada to face fraud charges related to her company’s alleged breaching of US sanctions, currently resides in the neighbourhood. Meng’s mansion there is valued at about C$16 million (US$12.3 million).
    Li Zhao charged with dismembering corpse in multimillion-dollar mansion
    6 May 2015

    Florence Zhao flaunted the trappings of Yuan’s wealth on Ultra Rich Asian Girls, a show which depicted the gaudy lifestyles of a group of apparently rich young Chinese immigrants in Vancouver. Yuan’s Rolls-Royce, his Pym Island hideaway and the mansion where he would later be killed were all featured in the show as part of “Flo-Z’s” family fortune.
    Worth C$8 million as recently as last year, the British Properties house is now valued at C$4.2 million.

    The Vancouver home where Yuan Gang was shot dead. Photo: SCMP
    A separate Canadian civil case over Yuan’s estate heard accounts of his playboy lifestyle, including that he had more than 100 “girlfriends”. He had at least five children, all by different mothers, none of whom were aware of the others’ existence, the judge in that case found.
    The five children will split Yuan’s estate, worth up to C$21 million, after that judge ruled in February that a woman who said she was his de facto wife had no claim to the estate. A second woman had also claimed to be Yuan’s wife, while Yuan had in fact married a third woman.
    But that marriage amounted to immigration fraud, the judge in the civil case said, allowing Yuan to obtain permanent residency in Canada in 2007. They divorced months later.
    Yuan is said by his family to have made his fortune in real estate investment. But he was implicated in a bribery scandal in China, in which a mainland court said he paid an official in Yunnan province a 1kg gold bar in exchange for coal mining rights. Yuan was never charged in the case and only served as a witness in the prosecution of the official, The Vancouver Sun reported.
    A date for Zhao’s sentencing will be set next week. Manslaughter carries a maximum term of life in prison, but that is very rarely applied; the mandatory minimum sentence ranges from four to seven years.
    Zhao has already spent almost five years behind bars, which will be taken into account.

    Ian Young
    Ian Young is the Post's Vancouver correspondent. A journalist for more than 20 years, he worked for Australian newspapers and the London Evening Standard before arriving in Hong Kong in 1997. There he won or shared awards for excellence in investigative reporting and human rights reporting, and the HK News Awards Scoop of the Year. He moved to Canada with his wife in 2010.
    The new 'normal'
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  4. #64
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Shuang Crossland

    The tycoon behind Kung Fu Tea...

    Meet Shuang Crossland – The Woman Behind Some Of Denver’s Most Popular Asian Restaurants
    6 MIN READ

    It’s difficult to find someone who has more passion about creating Asian cuisine restaurants in Denver than Shuang Crossland. She is the woman behind One Concept Restaurant Group — the parent company of Go Fish Sushi, Poké Concept, The Bronze Empire, Kung Fu Tea and Makizushico.

    Photo By Amanda Piela

    Having grown up in Dalian, China, Crossland took inspiration from watching her mother and grandmother cook. But having a career in the restaurant world wasn’t her first thought, she was always interested in cosmetology or fashion design. Jokingly, Crossland said none of her friends or family wanted her to do their makeup so she took that as a sign to move on. When Crossland and her family moved to the US and settled in Colorado, she switched her focus to higher education — specifically international business at Metropolitan State University of Denver. While in school she held a few hostess jobs at various Korean restaurants, though it kept her busy, it also slowly pulled her further into the restaurant industry.

    Photo By Kori Hazel

    Though Crossland didn’t finish school, it was the server role she landed at Go Fish Sushi that led to her future path. Her inner battle of wanting to improve and reinvent various aspects of the restaurant led to a partnership offer with Go Fish Sushi’s owner and thus became her new passion. After taking the reins at Go Fish, her next restaurant project came to her unexpectedly but at the perfect time.

    After seeing how well Crossland had been running Go Fish Sushi, owners of The Bronze Empire reached out to her asking if she would like to assume ownership of their hot pot restaurant. Crossland recognized the potential that Bronze Empire had but, unfortunately at the time, it was only really visited by the Chinese community in Colorado. Rather than taking full ownership of Bronze Empire, Crossland decided to share ownership with the original owners and help them make it more successful.

    “[Bronze Empire] was an easy decision, because Chinese hot pot is what I grew up eating. Each restaurant is different from the other so they are free to adapt to each concept. The concept I was going for at Bronze Empire is a newer version of hot pot, ” Crossland said.

    At the time there were only a few hot pot restaurants in the area and Crossland noticed with Denver’s growing population there would be a unique niche for this cuisine if it was marketed correctly. And with that, The Bronze Empire became her first booming restaurant after Go Fish Sushi.

    Photo Courtesy of Poké Concept

    After each restaurant concept becomes self-sufficient, Crossland is quick to move on to her next endeavor. With inspiration from a trip to Hawaii, Crossland decided it was time to open a traditional Hawaiian poké restaurant — Poké Concept. With various locations locked in for Poké Concept and other concepts in the pipeline, Crossland formed the unified banner, One Concept Restaurant Group (OCRG).

    OCRG is set up with Shuang Crossland and her partner who mainly deals with back of house operations along with three directors. Restaurant ideas like OCRG’s newest, Makizushico in Littleton come from a creative collection between the team. Once the construction, themes, locations and chef roles are fulfilled — OCRG looks for qualified managers to run the day to day operations for each restaurant. Usually, Crossland looks to her team at Go Fish, The Bronze Empire or Poké Concept for opportunities to promote from within.

    READ: A Brand New Sushi Spot Opened In Littleton With Unique Hot And Cool Tapas

    Photo Courtesy of Juneau Wong— Makizushico

    While a majority of the restaurants under OCRG are unique to Denver, one of their concepts is originally from New York. Crossland opened her own Kung Fu Tea franchise in 2017 with her twin sister Lian — who just so happens to be a real estate agent, which comes in handy when Crossland is searching for concept locations. After selling out at the first Denver location opening, Kung Fu Tea has become a very lucrative concept for OCRG. In fact, Kung Fu Tea is set to open a Stapleton location sometime in April 2020.

    Despite this recent rapid growth, none of Crossland’s business ventures are done on a whim — some of her conceptions have been floating around for years before any of them come to fruition. It’s Crossland’s serious business mindset that makes her successful in this industry — while her fun and caring side shows her team that all her efforts are dedicated to them.

    “I’ve worked with bad companies before where they didn’t value their employees and it really showed. I’m forever dedicated to my team because there is no way I could do anything by myself, I need them just as much as they need me,” said Crossland.

    “She gives everyone the ability to show her what you can do. She has such an eagerness to teach and help others succeed just as much as her,” said OCRG director, Antonio Gudino.

    As for creating successful restaurant experiences, Crossland is always looking at Denver’s demographic to see what each community wants from OCRG. As much as Crossland is working towards future restaurant ideas, she is always grateful for the connections made at some of her longest-running restaurants like Go Fish Sushi.

    Photos By Kori Hazel

    “I enjoy being able to see children grow up as they visit my restaurants over the years. There’s this father and daughter that have been coming to Go Fish since I was just a server. I remember when she was so little, all she could eat was two or three pieces from a California roll and now she’s a teenager eating raw sushi. It’s so awesome to get to see families really grow up,” said Crossland.

    It’s experiences like this that drive her to create more restaurant concepts for families all over Colorado. While Crossland has the desire to take some of the brands global like Poké Concept, she still very much wants to remain local.

    With a couple new restaurant concepts in the pipeline for 2020, OCRG hopes to change the face of Asian cuisine in Denver. The word is that their newest ventures will be unlike any they’ve done before.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  5. #65
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Jimmy Lai

    Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested, top aide says
    The democracy activist was detained under a new national security law that punishes what China considers subversion, secession and collusion with foreign forces.

    Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai in a July interview.Vincent Yu / AP
    Aug. 9, 2020, 6:35 PM PDT / Updated Aug. 9, 2020, 6:39 PM PDT
    By Reuters

    HONG KONG — Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai has been arrested over suspected collusion with foreign forces under the new national security law, his top aide said on Twitter, in what is the highest-profile arrest yet under the legislation.

    Lai has been one of the most prominent democracy activists in the Chinese-ruled city and an ardent critic of Beijing, which imposed the sweeping new law on Hong Kong on June 30, drawing condemnation from Western countries.

    The new security law punishes anything China considers subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.

    Critics say it crushes freedoms in the semiautonomous city, while supporters say it will bring stability after prolonged pro-democracy protests last year.

    "Jimmy Lai is being arrested for collusion with foreign powers at this time," Mark Simon, a senior executive at Lai's media company Next Digital , which publishes local tabloid Apple Daily, said early on Monday.

    Police did not immediately comment.

    Lai was also arrested this year on illegal assembly charges, along with other leading activists, relating to protests last year.

    In an interview with Reuters in May, Lai pledged to stay in Hong Kong and continue to fight for democracy even though he expected to be one of the targets of the new legislation.
    This does not bode well...

    HK protests
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  6. #66
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Ren Zhiqiang

    Chinese tycoon who criticized Xi Jinping's handling of coronavirus jailed for 18 years

    By Steven Jiang, CNN Business

    Updated 9:43 AM ET, Tue September 22, 2020
    Chinese billionaire sentenced to 18 years on corruption charges

    Ren Zhiqiang, a retired real-estate tycoon with close ties to senior Chinese officials, disappeared in March after he allegedly penned a scathing essay that month criticizing Xi's response to the coronavirus epidemic. He was later charged with corruption-related offenses.

    Ren Zhiqiang, a former real estate tycoon and outspoken government critic.
    On Tuesday, a court in Beijing found Ren guilty on multiple charges, including embezzling some $16.3 million (110.6 million yuan) in public funds, accepting bribes, and abuse of power that caused losses totaling $17.2 million (116.7 million yuan) for the state-owned property company that he once headed.
    Judges sentenced him to 18 years in prison and imposed a fine of $620,000 (4.2 million yuan). The court said he "voluntarily confessed all of his crimes" and "was willing to accept the court's verdict after all of his illegal gains were recovered."
    China's court system has a conviction rate of around 99%, according to legal observers, and corruption charges are often used to go after Communist Party insiders who fall afoul of the leadership.
    Ren's conviction and heavy sentence appears designed to send a message to other members of the Chinese elite that any public criticism or defiance of Xi will not be tolerated, as Beijing continues to deal with the fallout of the pandemic and faces intense international pressure from Washington and others.
    'The Cannon'
    Born into the Communist Party's ruling elite, the 69-year-old Ren had often been outspoken on Chinese politics, far more than is usually allowed in the authoritarian state.
    His forthrightness earned him the nickname "The Cannon" on Chinese social media.
    In the essay published in March, widely attributed to Ren, the author lashed out at the party's crackdown on press freedom and intolerance of dissent. While the essay did not mention Xi by name, it obliquely referred to the country's top leader as a power-hungry "clown."
    "I saw not an emperor standing there exhibiting his 'new clothes,' but a clown who stripped off his clothes and insisted on continuing being an emperor," Ren allegedly wrote of Xi's address to 170,000 officials across the country at a mass video conference on epidemic control measures on February 23.
    The essay went on to accuse the Communist Party of putting its own interests above the safety of the Chinese people, to secure its rule.
    "Without a media representing the interests of the people by publishing the actual facts, the people's lives are being ravaged by both the virus and the major illness of the system," Ren allegedly wrote.
    Soon after the essay was published online, Ren disappeared, and relatives feared he had been detained. Authorities confirmed Ren was being investigated on corruption related charges in early April, and expelled the longtime member from the Communist Party in July, paving the way for his criminal prosecution.
    This is not the first time Ren ran afoul of the Chinese leadership for speaking his mind.
    In 2016, he was disciplined after questioning on social media Xi's demands that Chinese state media must stay absolutely loyal to the party. He was put on a year's probation for his party membership and his wildly popular account on Weibo, China's Twitter-like platform, was shuttered.
    This time, however, there appears to be no second chance for Ren. If he serves his full sentence, he will be in his late 80s by the time he is released.
    CNN's James Griffiths, Nectar Gan and Ben Westcott contributed reporting.
    99% conviction rate.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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