Shide Group chairman Xu Ming at the World Economic Forum in Dalian, September 2011. (Photo/Xinhua)
Chinese billionaire Xu Ming has been arrested and his Shide Group in Dalian, a major city in Liaoning province, asked to pay back loans borrowed from state-owned China Construction Bank. The arrest is seen as being related to the ouster of former Chongqing Communist Party chief Bo Xilai, with whom Xu has strong ties.
Xu was arrested on March 15, the same day that Bo was dismissed from his position as party secretary, accused of "economic crimes." ENN weekly, a financial news agency controlled by state-run Xinhua, has confirmed that members of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection have been stationed in Dalian for days. China Construction Bank has reportedly stopped lending money to Shide and asked it to pay back previous loans.
Named by Forbes as the eighth-richest person in China in 2005, Xu founded Shide — a producer of machinery, petrochemical products and building materials — in 1992. The group bought a soccer club in 2000 and has extended into finance, medical care, automobiles, insurance and electronics. Its subsidiary Shide Plastics Industry is the world's largest PVC materials producer.
Xu and fellow tycoon Wang Jianlin, chairman of property developer Dalian Wanda Group, allegedly bribed government officials to help Bo, who was Dalian mayor from 1993 to 2000, to climb the political ladder in exchange for lucrative deals. Xu won a major oil contract with Saudi Arabia, while Wang Jianlin of Dalian Wanda Group was able to conduct multiple property projects in Dalian, according to the Epoch Times, a New York-based newspaper founded by supporters of the Falun Gong religious movement.
Chinese-language media suggest that Xu's arrest precluded Bo's; the latter is now allegedly being held under house arrest with his wife in Beijing. The fallen politician faces a series of charges including abuse of power and corruption, reported New Tang Dynasty Television, another New York-based media outlet associated with Falun Gong.
Xu Ming 徐明
Shide Group 大連實德
Wang Jianlin 王建林
Dalian Wanda Group 大連萬達集團
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