Chinese billionaire Xiao Jianhua seized from luxury Hong Kong hotel, source says
(CNN)A Chinese billionaire with Canadian citizenship has been seized from his apartment at the Four Seasons hotel in Hong Kong and taken to mainland China, a source familiar with the situation told CNN Wednesday.
Hong Kong police said they were investigating the disappearance of Xiao Jianhua, who was reported missing Friday. Police added that they had received a request Saturday from a family member to drop the case.
“We are still investigating and have reached out to the mainland authorities concerned,” the statement sent to CNN Tuesday said.
Xiao is one of China’s richest men and controls theTomorrow Group, a massive holding company with stakes in banks, insurers and property developers. According to Hurun
, which analyzes Chinese wealth, Xiao is 46 and has a net worth of $6 billion.
Mingpao said they couldn’t disclose who bought the unusual ad, which according to the newspaper’s advertising rate card
would have cost $36,500.
Other high-profile businesspeople detained in China have been pressed to release messages insisting that everything is fine.
The newspaper statement was similar to a post on the Tomorrow Group’s WeChat account — a social network and messaging app that’s massively popular in China. The post has since been deleted.
The Four Seasons, which occupies a 45-story skyscraper that commands spectacular views of Hong Kong’s harbor, said it was cooperating with the police investigation but declined to comment further.
The Canadian Consulate said it was aware of the reports and officials were “in contact with the authorities to gather additional information and provide assistance.”
“In order to protect the privacy of the individual concerned, further details on this case cannot be released.”
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Public Security Ministry didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Who is he?
Born in China, Xiao also held a diplomatic passport from Antigua and Barbuda, where he was an ambassador at large, according to a statement on the Antigua government website.
The country’s foreign ministry didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to the Financial Times, Xiao was a financier with links to the family of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
He was one of a number of Chinese tycoons who had moved to Hong Kong and taken up residence in private apartments at the 5-star Four Seasons hotel during Xi’s crackdown on corporate excess, the paper said.
A 2014 profile in the New York Times
said Xiao was often surrounded by aides and retained a number of female body guards “who even wipe the sweat from his brow.”
Born in a poor mountain village, Xiao passed the highly competitive college entrance exam at 14 and attended Peking University, China’s most prestigious, it added.
Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/01/asia/china-hong-kong-billionaire-xiao-jianhua/index.html