Dalian Wanda says chairman Wang Jianlin visited Hong Kong last week

Chairman of China's Wanda Group Wang Jianlin gives a speech on July 19, 2017.
Chairman of China's Wanda Group Wang Jianlin gives a speech on July 19, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group said on Monday (Sept 11) its chairman Wang Jianlin was in Hong Kong on Sept 8, just weeks after some media outlets said he had been stopped from leaving China.

Wanda said on its website (www.wanda-group.com) that Wang met Hong Kong's former leader, Tung Chee Hwa. Two photos published on the website showed Wang, one of China's richest men, with Tung, standing in front of a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region logo.

It is unclear what the pair discussed, but a person with knowledge of the matter said the two are long-time friends and Wang is a counsellor of the China-United States Exchange Foundation set up by Tung. The photos were taken in Tung's office, the person said.

Wang had also met other friends during his short visit to Hong Kong and left the territory on Friday, said the person, who declined to be identified as he was not authorised to speak to the media on the matter.

Wanda declined to comment on the trip. Tung's office did not have an immediate comment.

Some media outlets had reported last month, without citing sources, that Wang had been stopped from leaving China's Tianjin airport with his family and detained for a few hours, which Wanda said was "groundless".

Last week, the group said it had filed lawsuits against a number of Chinese media outlets and social media accounts for spreading rumours, adding it would seek compensation of 5 million yuan (S$1 million) from each account and a public apology.

Wanda, which has spent billions of dollars acquiring global entertainment and sports firms in recent years, is one of a number of firms to have drawn scrutiny of Chinese regulators who are concerned about capital outflows and risky overseas deals.