New Tang Dynasty Television reported that, on March 30, China aired the video trial of Wu Xiaohui, formerly of the Board of Directors of the AnBang Group, for allegedly being involved in a series of financial fraud schemes. The video showed that, in the beginning. Wu refused to plead guilty. In the end, however, he was seen sobbing and asked for forgiveness and a lighter judgment from the court. As the grandson-in-law of Deng Xiaoping, Wu started the AnBang Group in 2004 as a private insurance company in Ningbo City. It attracted a number of investors, including Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation and China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation. AnBang was reported to have close ties with Jiang Mianheng (the son of Jiang Zemin) and Zeng Qinhong. Within ten years, the AnBang Group grew from a small insurance company to a financial empire with capital of 800 billion yuan (US$123 billion). Duowei News published a blog article which stated that, for the AnBang Group, for such fast growth, it must have had deep political ties backing it. It is an indication of the urgency for proper supervision in China’s financial industry and the reason why Xi Jinping listed financial risk prevention as one of the three battles to fight in the next three years. The article stated that Wu’s trial only marks the beginning of the war and that the shakeup of the financial industry will get deeper and tougher. China watchers in the U.S. said it is part of a new policy to prevent money from flowing out of the country via foreign real estate investments.
AnBang is best known in the U.S. for buying the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.
1. New Tang Dynasty, March 30, 2018
2. Duowei News, March 20, 2018
http://blog.dwnews.com/post-1013187.html 3. Forbes, February 28, 2018 https://www.forbes.com/sites/lcarrel/2018/02/28/china-starts-chinese-new-year-by-seizing-anbang/