Xu Ming, founder and chairman of the Dalian Shide Group and one of China’s richest people, has been detained. Xu has been linked to Bo Xilai, the recently dismissed former party chief of Chongqing and former Dalian mayor. The exact circumstances of his detention are not known but he was reportedly detained on March 15, the same day Bo’s dismissal was announced. From the Telegraph:
Mr Xu was China’s eighth richest man in 2005, according to Forbes, and one of its youngest billionaires, with a fortune of approximately £1.3 billion. His company, the Dalian Shide group, is a conglomerate that manufactures building materials, cars, and plastics.
It also sells insurance, makes wide-ranging investments, and owns a football club, Dalian Shide, which has won the Chinese league eight times.
However, the Economy and Nation Weekly, a magazine affliated to Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency, reported that Mr Xu was put under arrest on March 15, for economic crimes.
The magazine reported that investigators from China’s Central Commission for Disciplinary Investigation, the country’s most senior anti-graft watchdog, had been stationed in Dalian for several days and had also detained a second, as yet unnamed, person.
It was unclear whether any inquiry might involve Mr. Bo, a national power broker who was removed as party secretary of metropolitan Chongqing on March 15.
Since then, investigators with the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection have summoned a number of officials and individuals tied to Mr. Bo, 62, for interrogation in Beijing. The commission has been quietly looking into Mr. Bo and his underlings since last year or earlier. But that inquiry has clearly intensified in the two weeks since his dismissal as Chongqing’s party chief, according to Chongqing officials and businessmen who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions.
Mr. Xu has not been in contact with the Shide Group since March 14, the day before Mr. Bo was fired, the Internet service Sina Finance News reported. Contacted over the weekend by telephone, officials in Dalian and in Liaoning Province, as well as the disciplinary commission and the public security ministry, all said they had no information about Mr. Xu.