Chinese billionaire tech banker, Bao Fan, has gone missing KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Friday, February 17, 2023

Chinese billionaire tech banker, Bao Fan, has gone missing

Chinese billionaire tech banker Bao Fan has gone missing..

Bao Fan, the chief executive of China Renaissance Holdings, had not been able to be reached in recent days, the firm said in a market update on Thursday.

Mr Bao is a leading deal broker in China whose clients include top tech companies Didi and Meituan.

His firm's announcement has renewed concerns of a potential Beijing crackdown on finance and tech figures.

Shares in the investment firm plunged on Friday, after it told shareholders it had "been unable to contact Mr Bao Fan".

The board added it was not aware of "any information that indicates that Mr Bao's unavailability is or might be related to the business and/or operations of the group".

The board added it was not aware of "any information that indicates that Mr Bao's unavailability is or might be related to the business and/or operations of the group".

When asked for further comment, China Renaissance referred the BBC to its notice to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The company did not specify how long Mr Bao had been missing. Chinese business newswire Caixin cited sources saying staff had not been able to contact him for two days.

The business wire also reported the firm's president, Cong Lin, had been taken by authorities last September over his previous work at the state-owned ICBC bank.

China Renaissance appears to not have commented on Mr Cong's situation. He is no longer listed as an executive on the company's site or in its most recent interim report.

The disappearance of Mr Bao - one of China's leading tech investors - has again evoked a history of Chinese executives suddenly vanishing for periods of time with no explanation.

At least half a dozen billionaires in the past few years have disappeared for periods after reported run-ins with the Communist Party, according to Forbes Magazine.

In several cases they were suspected to have been ensnared in corruption, tax or other misconduct investigations.

Notable absences include that of Fosun group founder Guo Guangchang, who has been called the Warren Buffet of China, who vanished for several days in 2015.

Chinese-Canadian businessman Xiao Jianhua was also taken in 2017. He had been one of China's richest people and last year was jailed for corruption.

Mr. Bao gained a reputation for close links to some of China’s most dynamic technology companies, and his profile grew with frequent appearances on the stages of international financial conferences. The veteran of Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, who is in his early 50s, runs a firm that has advised on mergers of major Chinese technology companies and which lists a number of investment funds in its annual report.

Among Mr. Bao’s claims to fame in the Chinese financial sphere was advising on a merger that combined two online ride-hailing services into a tech giant now known as Didi Global Inc. Like some other companies in China’s tech space, Didi has since faced government regulatory scrutiny that hurt its market value in recent years. He also advised on a merger that created the online company Meituan.

Mr. Bao controls around 50% of China Renaissance, according to Hong Kong stock exchange data.

The firm, with offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and New York, says it employs 700 people and in 2021 generated revenue of 1.74 billion yuan, equivalent to $254 million, according to its latest annual report, published last March. It tallied assets under management of 49 billion yuan. At the time, China Renaissance said the investment-management segment of its business generated 36% of group revenue. 

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