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Friday, May 24, 2024

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Bao Fan, China’s Millionaire Banker, Reportedly Missing

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One of the most well-known millionaire bankers in China has vanished, according to his firm.

The company stated in a market update on Thursday that Bao Fan, the CEO of China Renaissance Holdings, had not been reachable in recent days.

Top IT firms Didi and Meituan are among the clients of Bao, a well-known deal broker in China.

The announcement by his company has rekindled worries about a future crackdown in Beijing on leaders in technology and finance.

Friday saw a sharp decline in the investment firm’s stock after it informed shareholders that it had “been unable to contact Bao Fan.”

The board further stated that it was not aware of “any information indicating that Mr. Bao’s non-availability is or might be relevant to the business and/or operations of the group.”

The time duration of Bao’s disappearance was not disclosed by the company. According to reports quoted by the Chinese business newswire Caixin, personnel had been unable to reach him for two days.

Cong Lin, the company’s president, was reportedly detained by law enforcement in September over his prior employment at the state-owned ICBC bank, according to the business wire.

It looks that China Renaissance is silent regarding Cong’s predicament. On the company’s website and in its most recent interim report, he is no longer listed as an executive.

The absence of Bao, one of China’s top IT investors, has once again brought to mind instances in which Chinese executives vanished mysteriously for extended periods of time.

According to Forbes Magazine, at least six millionaires have vanished for extended periods of time in recent years following purported encounters with the Communist Party.

They may have been caught up in corruption, tax, or other wrongdoing investigations in a number of situations.

Guo Guangchang, the founder of the Fosun Group and the man dubbed the Warren Buffet of China, disappeared for many days in 2015.

Xiao Jianhua, a Chinese-Canadian businessman, was also detained in 2017. He was formerly one of the wealthiest persons in China and was imprisoned for corruption last year.

Following remarks critical of market authorities, Alibaba founder Jack Ma vanished from view for three months in late 2020.

Having carried out many of the transactions that have shaped China’s online consumer economy, Bao is seen as a giant in the country’s tech sector. After working at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse in the banking industry, he created China Renaissance in 2005.

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