Chinese tycoons in trouble: Businessmen who have run afoul of President Xi Jinping's corruption crackdown

Wu Xiaohui stepped aside from his position as Chairman of Anbang Insurance Group amid reports that that he was taken away by authorities for investigation.
Wu Xiaohui stepped aside from his position as Chairman of Anbang Insurance Group amid reports that that he was taken away by authorities for investigation.PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Numerous executives at big Chinese companies have been subject to investigation or prosecution in recent years, amid a broader crackdown on corruption led by President Xi Jinping that has ensnared tens of thousands of officials.

On Tuesday (June 13), Anbang Insurance Group said its chairman Wu Xiaohui was no longer able to fulfil his duties, amid reports he had been taken away for investigation.

Following is a list of 10 other high-profile Chinese executives reported to have been caught up in investigations or prosecuted in recent years:

1. XIAO JIANHUA

Tomorrow Group Billionaire Xiao was taken from a luxury Hong Kong hotel in a wheelchair on Jan 27, a source told Reuters in February. Local media reported he was taken away by mainland Chinese agents. Chinese authorities have not commented.

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Tomorrow Group, a Beijing-based financial group, controls listed firms including Baotou Huazi Industry and Xishui Strong Year Inner Mongolia.

2. CHANG XIAOBING

China Telecom's Chang was sentenced to six years in jail in May for bribery. He quit as China Telecom Corp's chairman and CEO in December 2015 after being detained by Beijing authorities for "severe disciplinary violations".


Former Chairman and CEO of China Unicom, Chang Xiaobing, attending a press conference in Hong Kong on Aug 8, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS

3. SI XIANMIN


Si Xianmin, former Chairman of China Southern Airlines, speaking during a news conference  in Hong Kong on April 15, 2009. PHOTO: REUTERS

The former chairman of China Southern Airlines, China's largest airline by passenger numbers, was sentenced in April to 10½ years in jail for taking bribes in 2005-2014, according to state broadcaster CCTV. He was put under investigation in November 2015 and resigned from his post in January 2016.

 

4. XU XIANG

The general manager of Shanghai-based hedge fund Zexi Investment, who earned nicknames including "Hedge Fund Brother No. 1", was sentenced in January to 5½ years imprisonment for market manipulation. He was detained by police in November 2015.

5. CHENG BOMING

The head of China's largest securities firm, CITIC Securities, was arrested in April 2016 with other company executives suspected of involvement in criminal activity, the official Xinhua news agency reported. In 2015, CITIC Securities said he was under investigation for possible insider trading and leaking information.

6. YANG ZEZHU

The former chairman of Changjiang Securities died in January 2016 after falling from an apartment building. Xinhua said police in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, where the brokerage was based, found a suicide note left by Yang. His company had said he was being investigated by China's anti-corruption watchdog for discipline violations.

7. GUO GUANGCHANG


Guo Guangchang, Chairman of Fosun, attending a conference in Hangzhou, in eastern China's Zhejiang province on June 25, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Fosun International said in December 2015 that Guo was "assisting in certain investigations carried out by mainland judiciary authorities", after media reported the company lost contact with its founder and chairman.

However, Guo travelled to the United States later that month, two executives told Reuters then, easing investor concerns that Chinese authorities had restricted the billionaire's movements. He remains at the helm of Fosun.

8. YIM FUNG


Yim Fung, chairman and chief executive officer of Guotai Junan International Holdings. PHOTO: APPLE DAILY

After reporting him missing in November 2015, Guotai Junan Securities said in December that Yim, its chairman and CEO, resumed his duties after helping the authorities with an unspecified investigation.

The nature of the investigation was unknown, but Yim's absence coincided with an anti-graft campaign in the financial sector following a market slump.

9. JIANG JIEMIN


Former Vice Chairman and President of PetroChina Company Limited Jiang Jiemin attends a news conference in Hong Kong on March 19, 2007. PHOTO: REUTERS

The former head of China's top energy group, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), was sentenced to 16 years for bribery and abuse of power in October 2015. A court said he took more than 14 million yuan (S$2.84 million) in bribes in 2004-13.

Jiang was CNPC's chairman in 2011-2013 and went on trial in April 2015. He was a close associate of Zhou Yongkang, China's once-powerful domestic security chief and a former member of the elite Politburo Standing Committee - the most senior person to have been charged with corruption in Xi's anti-graft campaign.

10. LIU HAN


Liu Han, head of private company Hanlong group delivering a speech during a meeting in Chengdu on Jan 24, 2010. PHOTO: AFP

The former Hanlong Mining tycoon was executed in February 2015 for murder and running what state media called a "mafia-style" gang. Liu, who had suspected ties to the family of former security chief Zhou, was put under investigation in 2014.