Five years after disappearing amid an anti-corruption sweep in Hong Kong, a Chinese-born Canadian billionaire is now on trial in China, Canada’s government said Monday.
A government announcement said that Xiao Jianhua was scheduled to face trial on Monday. It said that Canadian officials were “watching this matter carefully” and providing Xiao’s family with specific assistance. According to the statement, no other details will be made public because of concerns about privacy.
It was at this time of increased trials against Chinese executives for bribery and other wrongdoing that Tomorrow Group founder Xiao Xiao went missing from a Hong Kong hotel in January 2017. If Xiao has been arrested, the authorities have never spoken anything about it, nor have they made any public accusations against him.
China’s Communist Party was increasing up attempts to bring persons sought in corruption cases back from overseas to face prosecution around the time of Xiao’s disappearance. There were growing suspicions that Beijing was abducting individuals from other countries as a result of this. Chinese police were banned from acting in Hong Kong at the time since the territory had its own legal system.
A series of protests against the Xi Jinping government’s tightening of its grip on Hong Kong since then have been launched. Pro-democracy activists have been imprisoned under a national security bill enacted in 2020 by the governing party.
On the mainland in 2015, five persons who worked for a Hong Kong publishing business that published books critical of Chinese government mysteriously disappeared.
According to the Hurun Report, which tracks China’s elite, Xiao had a fortune of $6 billion when he went missing.
According to an official from China’s securities regulator, anybody suspected of misbehaviour overseas would be “caught and repatriated.”
Investigators in Hong Kong concluded that Xiao had crossed the border into mainland China. Although Xiao claimed in an advertisement published the next week in the Ming Pao newspaper that he had been seized against his will.