China Renaissance, an funding financial institution and personal fairness agency primarily based in Beijing, stated in a Thursday submitting to the Hong Kong inventory change that it “has been unable to contact” Bao Fan, its chairman and CEO.
Shares of the corporate plunged as a lot as 50 per cent in Hong Kong on Friday following the information. The inventory closed down 28 per cent.
“The board is just not conscious of any data that signifies that Mr Bao’s unavailability is or is perhaps associated to the enterprise and/or operations of the group,” the agency stated within the submitting.
Bao is called a veteran dealmaker in China’s tech business. He helped dealer the 2015 merger between two of the nation’s main meals supply providers, Meituan and Dianping. At the moment, the mixed firm’s “tremendous app” platform is ubiquitous in China.
Bao began his funding banking profession within the late Nineties at Morgan Stanley and Credit score Suisse and later went on to function an adviser to the inventory exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
His group has additionally invested in US-listed Chinese language electrical car makers Nio and Li Auto, and helped Chinese language web giants Baidu and JD.com full their secondary listings in Hong Kong.
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Bao didn’t instantly reply to messages from CNN on WeChat on Friday, whereas China Renaissance hasn’t but responded to a request for remark.
The monetary providers agency not too long ago handled one other comparable disruption, in line with Caixin, a revered Chinese language monetary information outlet. Chinese language authorities detained Cong Lin, the corporate’s president, in September, it reported, citing unidentified sources.
China has a historical past of detaining execs
Bao’s disappearance follows these of different high-profile enterprise leaders in China, the place it’s not unusual for executives to abruptly drop off the radar with little rationalization.
In 2020, actual property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang disappeared for a number of months after he allegedly spoke out in opposition to Chinese language chief Xi Jinping’s dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic. Ren was ultimately jailed for 18 years on corruption costs.
In 2017, insurance coverage large Anbang warned shareholders that its chairman, Wu Xiaohui, would not be capable to perform his duties after he was reportedly detained by authorities as a part of a authorities investigation. Anbang on the time cited “private causes” for his absence. Wu was ultimately jailed for 18 years,
Additionally in 2017, Xiao Jianhua, a tycoon who managed Tomorrow Holdings, was seized by Chinese language safety brokers from his room on the 4 Seasons resort in Hong Kong and brought to mainland China. He was sentenced in August 2022 to 13 years in jail.
One other distinguished case befell in 2015, when Guo Guangchang, the billionaire dubbed “the Warren Buffett of China,” was reported as lacking by the conglomerate he ran. That group, Fosun, later confirmed that Guo was aiding authorities in an investigation.
Senior executives from dozens of Chinese language corporations additionally disappeared that yr. Some later returned to their positions, whereas others didn’t.