Date
20 October 2017
Fosun Group chairman Guo Guangchang sparked speculation that he was being drawn into the corruption crackdown after his brief disappearance last week. Photo: Reuters
Fosun Group chairman Guo Guangchang sparked speculation that he was being drawn into the corruption crackdown after his brief disappearance last week. Photo: Reuters

Property tycoons lead Chinese billionaires in trouble for graft

Real estate tycoons make up the majority of Chinese billionaires who have been charged, jailed or executed mainly for bribery.

Nine were financial executives among 35 who have run into trouble with the law, Reuters reports, citing the Hurun Report, which compiles a list of China’s rich.

The number represents just over 1 percent of the more than 3,000 billionaires that have featured on its annual list, it said on its website.

The biggest group was property tycoons with 11.

Shanghai and Beijing were home to most of the offenders, who on average were sentenced to jail at age 47 for 10 years, the report said.

Hurun founder Rupert Hoogewerf told Reuters the number of billionaire offenders was lower than the number of government officials and executives at state-owned enterprises who have been arrested or are under investigation for corruption.

President Xi Jinping’s widespread crackdown on corruption has also ensnared several billionaires over the past few years, including Xu Ming, a former business ally of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai and the founder of plastics-to-property conglomerate Dalian Shide Group, who died in prison earlier this month.

Last week, the disappearance of Guo Guangchang, one of China’s best-known billionaires and the chairman of Fosun Group, sparked speculation that he was being drawn into the corruption crackdown.

Guo, ranked 17 on this year’s Hurun rich list, appeared at a company meeting on Monday after the company said he had been assisting the authorities in an investigation.

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