Canny investments in property helped him build a fortune estimated to be between $2.7bn (£1.72bn) and $6.3bn at the time of his arrest.
In 2008 he topped the Hurun Report’s China Rich list.
A few months later he was arrested and has been in detention ever since.
His wife and a business associate are on trial with him.
Gome, the firm he founded, is also accused of corporate bribery.