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After Disappearance, China Tycoon Travels to New York

  • VOA News

FILE - Billionaire Guo Guangchang, executive director and chairman of Fosun International, attends the annual general meeting of the Chinese conglomerate in Hong Kong, China, May 28, 2015.

FILE - Billionaire Guo Guangchang, executive director and chairman of Fosun International, attends the annual general meeting of the Chinese conglomerate in Hong Kong, China, May 28, 2015.

One of China's most powerful businessmen, who briefly disappeared from public view amid rumors he was the subject of a corruption investigation, has resurfaced in the U.S., according to his company.

Guo Guangchang is currently on a business trip to New York, the Fosun Group said via a Chinese language social media account Friday, adding he would later travel to Canada and the Bahamas.

Fosun officials said last week they briefly lost contact with the billionaire businessman, prompting investor concerns he was being targeted by the Chinese government's fierce anti-corruption drive.

Company officials briefly suspended trading of company shares, but later said Guo was only "assisting" authorities in a corruption investigation. However, the statement failed to assuage investor fears, since officials are often arbitrarily detained during such investigations, and often face charges.

Guo reappeared at a Fosun meeting Monday, but had not been seen since.

On Friday, pictures surfaced on Chinese social media of Guo eating at a restaurant in Manhattan. Though the photos could not be independently confirmed, they suggested his movement was not restricted.

The 48-year-old Guo is one of China's wealthiest tycoons. He has a net worth of $5.6 billion, according to Forbes, and is the chairman and co-founder of the massive Fosun conglomerate.

Fosun has business interests around the globe, including in the real estate, steel, mining, pharmaceuticals and entertainment industries. Earlier this year, it took over the French-led resort chain Club Med.

Any corruption charges against Guo were seen as unexpected, since he is said to be loyal to the ruling Communist Party.

But Chinese media have said Guo had "inappropriate connections" to Wang Zongnan, the head of a state-owned retailer who was sentenced this year to 18 years in prison for embezzlement and bribery.

Chinese officials have not commented on the corruption investigation Guo is said to be assisting. The party is in the middle of an anti-corruption campaign that has brought down several top officials and businessmen.

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