A Chinese-born Canadian billionaire who disappeared from a Hong Kong hotel in 2017 goes on trial in China Monday, the Canadian Embassy in Beijing said in a statement.
“Global Affairs Canada, our home office, is aware that a trial in the case of Canadian citizen Mr. Xiao Jianhua will take place Monday,” the statement said without specifying the location or charges against him.
“Canadian consular officials are monitoring this case closely, providing consular services to his family and continue to press for consular access,” the statement said.
Xiao, the founder of Beijing-based Tomorrow Group was born in China and was known to have links to China’s Communist Party echelon.
His’s disappearance came as the Chinese government was prosecuting businesspeople accused of bribery and other misconduct, in an anti-corruption campaign said to be spearheaded by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Xiao vanished at a time when Chinese police were prohibited from operating in Hong Kong, which has a separate legal system under “one country, two systems” framework in place after the territory’s handover from Britain to China.
Chinese authorities have not confirmed or denied whether Xiao was detained, neither have they disclosed possible charges against him.
The 2016 Hurun China list of richest people, the country’s equivalent of the Forbes list, ranked Xiao as the 32nd wealthiest person in China with an estimated net worth of $5.97 billion.
Some information in this report came from Reuters, Agence France-Presse, and The Associated Press.