Billionaire Xiao Jianhua Disappears In Hong Kong

February 1, 2017

NewsStandOnline.Net (1-February-2017): Mystery surrounds the whereabouts of a Canadian billionaire reportedly taken away from his Hong Kong hotel by mainland police.  The case could rekindle concerns about overreach by Chinese law enforcement in the semiautonomous city.

Chinese-born Xiao Jianhua is on the mainland, according to local media earlier today, citing an anonymous source close to the tycoon.

Overseas Chinese news sites said earlier that Chinese police officers escorted Xiao from his suite at the luxury Four Seasons Hotel last Friday. Such news sites carry reports of political gossip and corruption scandals that can be difficult to verify in tightly controlled China.

Xiao Jianhua Disappears In Hong Kong

Xiao, who reportedly built his fortune in part because of close connections with the families of Communist Party leaders, is the founder of Beijing-based Tomorrow Group, a well-connected financial services company.

He is worth nearly $6 billion, according to the Hurun Report, China’s version of the Forbes Rich List.

It’s unclear why Xiao was targeted, but his case has parallels with that of five Hong Kong booksellers, who disappeared in 2015 only to turn up under control of the mainland authorities, sparking fears that Beijing was eroding Hong Kong’s wide autonomy and rule of law. The five sold gossipy books about China’s communist leaders that were banned on the mainland but popular with Chinese visitors.

China’s Ministry of Public Security and Foreign Ministry did not respond to requests for comment today, a public holiday in China. The Hong Kong police said it has asked Chinese authorities for help in following up on the case.