November 28, 2023

The strange “disappearance” of billionaires in China

The official name of the Chinese dictatorship is the People’s Republic of China.

The problem is that the only thing “popular” is oppression. Literally no Chinese citizen is safe. Nor are those who have settled abroad.

The last case occurred in February of that year. The disappearance of Chinese billionaire Bao Fan has reignited interest in a recent phenomenon in the country: the disappearance of billionaires.

Bao is the founder of China Renaissance Holdings – with a client list that includes corporate giants Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu – he is a major tycoon in the country’s tech sector and like any billionaire has a highly trained security team.

So “kidnapping” a businessman of this size would involve shooting or heavy fighting, unless it was done by an overwhelmingly stronger force.

Bao’s case is just another and follows a familiar pattern: he’s been kept for days, until his company announces it’s “cooperating in an investigation by some authorities in the People’s Republic of China.”

Another scandalous case was the “disappearance” of the owner of the Alibaba application – a kind of Amazon from the Far East. Major shareholder Jack Ma, worth US$23.9 billion, has disappeared after calling China’s dictator Xi Jinping a “clown”.

There are reports that what he could have been seen in Australia and Japan, but in the region with the highest concentration of smartphones and surveillance cameras in the world, no photos or videos of him were recorded after his disappearance.

The most likely thing, given the history of the dictatorship, is that if he were executed or thrown into some dungeon in the interior of China, he would not be the first to suffer this fate.

“The Chinese government has used the same tactic with many people — the only reason we know about the disappearance of high-profile businessmen is because they are so important,” said Yaqiu Wang, China researcher for Human Rights Watch (HRW).

In 2015 alone, at least five CEOs could not be reached, including Guo Guangchang, chairman of Fosun International Group, known in the West for owning the Premier League football team Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Guo disappeared in December 2015. His company later announced that he was “helping with investigations”. (For those who don’t remember, Wolverhampton is an English club currently negotiating to buy Palmeiras star Rafael Vega.)

Rights activist Yaqiu Wang believed:

“Looking at the last ten years of Xi Jinping’s rule, the trend of repression will become more and more serious,” he said.

“Their methods will become more brutal and secretive, and people’s basic rights will be less guaranteed.”

And this reality is not far from the Brazilians because the current President Lula is a recognized fan of the Chinese government:

China (…) has a strong political party and a strong government, because the government has the power to control and command. In an interview with the Chinese newspaper Guancha in July 2021, he declared that Brazil does not have that, nor do other countries.