Financial tycoon Xiao Jianhua has released a statement denying that he had been “captured” in Hong Kong and brought back to the mainland, according to a report by the South China Morning Post
Xiao, founder of the Tomorrow Group that deals in insurance, banking, securities, trust funds and other industries, said on the company’s WeChat account that he was “recuperating abroad” and that he would meet with the media once his treatment is finished.
Known for his close ties with high-ranking officials in Beijing, Xiao claimed that he has consular protection from Canada by virtue of being a Canadian citizen, as well as protection by Hong Kong law due to being a permanent resident there.
“I have diplomatic protection as I hold a diplomatic passport,” Xiao wrote in the statement on the group’s WeChat account. “Please don’t worry about me.”
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Xiao directly denied reports by Bowen Press
which claimed that he was taken into custody in Hong Kong by Chinese government agents for opposing the Communist Party.
“Please don’t misunderstand – there is no such thing that I was kidnapped and taken back to the mainland,” said the statement. “I have never taken part in any activity that harms the interests of the nation and the party, and I have never supported any opposing forces or organization.”
However, the statement was deleted for unknown reasons less than an hour after it was posted.
Xiao, 46, and his wife are ranked 32nd
’s China Rich List 2016 with a combined net worth of US$5.97 billion.
Xiao, a secretive businessman and former student leader, has been embroiled in several controversies. In 2013, he was identified by Caixin
as one of the mysterious figures behind Thai-Chinese conglomerate CP Group’s purchase of Ping An Insurance shares from HSBC. This almost caused the deal to fall through.
In 2014, there were reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered Xiao to be investigated, causing him to flee to Hong Kong after his government connections tipped him off. Tomorrow Group denied the allegations.
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