China. Missing businessman ‘cooperates’ with investigation

The businessman Bao Fan, very prominent in the world of tech in China and missing for two weeks, “cooperates” with an investigation opened by the authorities, said his company.

Bao Fan, 52, is the founder of China Renaissance, a major Chinese private investment bank specializing in tech investments.

The group notably supervised the IPO of several digital giants, including the e-commerce specialist JD. com. He is also at the origin of a merger in 2015 between the local VTC champion, Didi, and a competitor of the time, Kuaidi Dache.

His disappearance, which raised fears of a new wave of resumption of control of the financial sector by the Chinese authorities, unscrewed the action of the group in Hong Kong.

Sunday evening, China Renaissance said to be « aware that Mr. Bao is currently cooperating with an investigation by certain authorities” in mainland China.

“The company will co-operate and attend to any legal request from the relevant authorities of the People’s Republic of China, if any.”the group added.

China Renaissance, who reported her missing on February 16, saying she was not « able to contact (its CEO) Bao Fan”did not specify the exact nature of the investigation, nor responded to a request for comment issued by AFP.

Xiao Jianhua avant Bao Fan

This disappearance is reminiscent of that of the Canadian tycoon of Chinese origin, Xiao Jianhua, who vanished in 2017 from a hotel in Hong Kong.

Reputed to be close to the top Chinese communist leaders, he had according to press reports been abducted by agents from Beijing.

Mr. Xiao was at the time of his arrest one of the richest men in China, with an estimated fortune of $6 billion.

The ex-businessman was finally sentenced last year to 13 years in prison for fraud.

Founded in 2005, China Renaissance, which claims more than 700 employees worldwide, is present in Singapore and the United States.