Just 1% of China's richest ran afoul of the law: Report

BEIJING • Just over 1 per cent of Chinese billionaires identified by the Hurun Report as the country's richest over the past 17 years have been jailed, charged or even executed, mainly for bribery, embezzlement and economy-related crimes, the publication said.

On its website, the Hurun Report - a monthly magazine best known for its "China Rich List" - said 35 of the more than 3,000 billionaires who have featured on its annual Hurun Rich List, dubbed by local media as a "slaughter list", have run afoul of the law. The biggest number - 11 - were real estate tycoons, the report said, followed by nine finance industry executives.

Shanghai and Beijing were home to most of the offenders who, on average, were sentenced to jail at age 47 for 10 years, the report added.

Hurun founder Rupert Hoogewerf told Reuters the number of billionaire offenders was lower than the number of government officials and executives at state-owned enterprises who have been arrested or are under investigation for corruption.

President Xi Jinping's widespread crackdown on corruption has ensnared several billionaires over the past few years, including Xu Ming, a former business ally of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai and the founder of plastics-to-property conglomerate Dalian Shide Group, who died in prison earlier this month.

Last week, the disappearance of Mr Guo Guangchang, one of China's best-known billionaires, sparked speculation that he was being drawn into the corruption crackdown.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 16, 2015, with the headline 'Just 1% of China's richest ran afoul of the law: Report'. Print Edition | Subscribe