News / Asia

    Chinese Billionaire Goes Missing

    This is a current screenshot of Metersbonwe, one of China's biggest fashion chains founded by Chinese billionaire Zhou Chengjian who is reported to have gone missing, according to the company, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016.
    This is a current screenshot of Metersbonwe, one of China's biggest fashion chains founded by Chinese billionaire Zhou Chengjian who is reported to have gone missing, according to the company, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016.

    Chinese billionaire Zhou Chengjian, head of one of China's largest fashion chains, gone missing. His disappearance could be tied to a government-led anti-corruption crackdown that has led to the arrests and sometimes disappearance of dozens of Chinese executives in recent months.

    Reports in Chinese media say Zhou, who heads the fashion brand Metersbonwe, was picked up by police earlier this week.

    Metersbonwe on Thursday suspended trading of its shares on the Shenzen stock exchange and said in a statement that it could not reach Zhou or his board's secretary Tu Ke. It said it was investigating reports of his arrest.

    Zhou, who started out as a tailor, is now considered one of China's richest men, with an fortune estimated at some $2.4 billion.

    His disappearance follows that of Chang Xiaobing, the chief executive of the state-owned China Telecom, who disappeared last month.

    Guo Guangchang, head of the Folsun investment group, also went missing in December. Folsun has business interests around the globe, including in the real estate, steel, mining, pharmaceuticals and entertainment industries. Guo reappeared after several days after "assisting judicial authorities."  

    The anti-corruption campaign undertaken by Chinese President Xi Jinping is thought to have targeted executives and business heads across a wide range of industries.

    The campaign might also have ensnared a long list of Communist Party officials, some of whom appear to have had disputes with Xi.

     

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