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Beijing Is Determined to Clean up Chaos in the Financial Industry

According to a blog posted on Duowei, an opinion article that People’s Daily published on August 21 stated that Beijing has once again determined to increase oversight and scrutiny over the chaos in financial industry, especially in the area of high risk leveraged investments. The blog indicated that the cleanup effort could further affect a core interest group within the party. Starting this year, several private companies including Anbang, Hainan Airlines, Wanda, Fosun International, and Zhejiang Rossoneri Investment were the subject of different types of investigations, especially on the source of their capital as well as on acquisitions overseas. By the end of 2016, the combined capital of Anbang, Hainan Airlines, Wanda and Fosun International was over 4 trillion yuan (US$0.6 trillion). The blog quoted a source from the banking industry which indicated that, in the past two years, many companies used overseas buyouts to move capital overseas. Some of the buyouts were fake and hard to audit. The blog stated that the financial industry was flooded with party princelings who pocketed the profit, but when there was a loss, the people had to bear it. This became a classic model when Jiang Zemin was in power. It has enabled party officials to carve up the state’s assets for their own personal gain. The blog disclosed that during a central committee meeting last year, Xi Jinping used an unprecedented tone to condemn the corruption in the financial industry. In June of this year, Wu Xiaohui, Anbang’s chairman of the board was detained. Soon after that, Wanda issued a statement that it would keep the majority of its cash in China. At the same time, it started to sell off its real estate properties to pay back its bank loan.

Duowei, August 22, 2017