Pandemonium as Chinese Billionaire is Kidnapped from Luxury Hong Kong Hotel…See Details (Photo)

4 years ago

One of China’s richest men is feared to have been abducted from a luxury hotel in Hong Kong by mainland Chinese security agents.

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 the Tomorrow 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.

Xiao’s disappearance adds to fears that freedoms guaranteed under the "one country, two systems" policy agreed to as part of Britain’s 1997 handover of Hong Kong are being eroded as Beijing asserts more control over the city.

His case has drawn comparisons with Lee Bo, a bookseller and British passport holder that disappeared from Hong Kong in late 2015 and later turned up in Chinese custody.

The person familiar with the situation told CNN that there was a small scuffle between two dozen security officials and Xiao’s own security detail, which usually numbers about eight bodyguards per shift.

The source, who wanted to remain anonymous because of the politically sensitive nature of the case, said Xiao had close connections to some of China’s most powerful families.

In a front-page ad published in Hong Kong’s Mingpao newpaper Wednesday, Xiao appeared to deny he had been kidnapped.

The statement in Chinese, which had Xiao’s name printed at the bottom, said that he was "recuperating overseas" and hoped to meet with media once he had recovered.
"I’m a patriotic overseas Chinese and I’ve always loved the party and the country," it said. The statement added that he was a Canadian citizen entitled to consular assistance and a permanent Hong Kong resident.

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.

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