torsdag 9. mars 2023

Why do Chinese billionaires keep vanishing?

The disappearance last month of technology industry dealmaker Bao Fan has rekindled interest in a recent Chinese phenomenon - vanishing billionaires. The founder of China Renaissance Holdings - with a client list that has included internet giants Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu - is seen as a titan in the country's tech sector. Mr Bao's case has followed a well-trodden path: he went missing for days before his company announced that he was "co-operating in an investigation being carried out by certain authorities in the People's Republic of China".

As has also become customary, there has been no word yet on which government body is carrying out the probe, what it is about or Mr Bao's whereabouts. The mystery shrouding his disappearance comes after a number of Chinese business leaders have gone missing in recent years, including Alibaba boss Jack Ma. While vanishing billionaires tend to get much more attention, there have also been a number of less publicised cases of Chinese citizens going missing after taking part in, for example, anti-government protests or human rights campaigns.