Xiao Jianhua is the owner of Tomorrow Holding (trading as the Tomorrow Group), a diversified investment company involved with banking, insurance, real estate development, coal, cement and rare earth minerals. He was involved in crashing China’s stock market in 2015, which was called a “financial coup” against Xi Jinping. He was abducted in Hong Kong and taken back to China in 2017. His whereabouts are unknown.
On July 17, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission announced it would take over four insurance companies and two trusts from Tomorrow Holding. The China Securities Regulatory Commission also commissioned four institutes to oversee three securities and commodity companies from Tomorrow Holding. Thus, the authorities have taken over all of Tomorrow Holding’s nine core companies in the insurance, trust, and securities fields, with total assets of over 1.2 trillion yuan (US $ 171 billion).
According to New Fortune, a company that specializes in evaluating Chinese financial service companies, Tomorrow Holding holds stocks in 44 financial companies, whose collective financial assets are over 3 trillion yuan (US $430 billion).
On July 18, Tomorrow Holding published a “Solemn Statement” on WeChat. It stated that the authorities “spared no effort to push for the takeover” and questioned the authorities’ underlining agenda. The statement was removed a few hours later.
Tomorrow Holding’s “Solemn Statement” stated that the company has been fully cooperative with the authorities’ investigation since Xiao Jianhua was arrested in 2017. It received several hundred billion yuan through the disposal of assets and overseas remittances and also raised nearly 300 billion yuan, and thus it paid in full the principle and interest of the wealth management insurance product of the Tianan Property Insurance Co. (so there was no financial risk with the company).
It also pointed out that the regulatory commissions sent “Research and Investigation Teams” into each institute to monitor them closely. The authorities deprived the institutes off operational autonomy, did not allow them to conduct business normally or expand operations, and did not allow employees to enter and leave the company normally. It tried to force the institutes into a state that would “trigger the conditions for a takeover.”
It also stated that the group will report this to the relevant authorities.
He Chun, a Chinese scholar in the China University of Political Science and Law, told Radio Free Asia in an interview, “It is unusual that Tomorrow Holding could issue the statement. Ordinary private business could never do this. We know that the company is not supported by the current leader, but obviously there are political force(s) supporting it. This force is not just a ministerial-provincial level official; it has to be high enough to challenge the top official.”
There are comments that Zeng Qinghong is the power behind Tomorrow Holding. Zeng was the former Vice President of China and the right-hand man of Jiang Zemin, the former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) head. Xi Jinping’s taking over the core assets of Tomorrow Holding is like ransacking Zeng Qinghong’s home and confiscating his assets.
Independent commentator Wen Zhao said that Xiao Jianhua managed the Tomorrow Holding not only for Zeng Qinghong, but also for several other top ranking officials. Xi Jinping faces strong internal political pressure at the upcoming annual Beidaihe meeting, where the top leaders, both current and retired, will meet to discuss the overall situation that the CCP faces. Xi wants to confiscate the money bag of the top officials as leverage.
Elmer Yuen, a Hong Kong businessman expressed that there is severe infighting among the CCP’s top leaders. The retired former top leaders are pressing Xi Jinping. Xi is pushing Jiang Zemin and his faction to bring back the money that they pocketed earlier. Now that Xi has control over the military, public security, and the armed police, his next battle is the financial power. To take back the financial power, Xi has shown he is willing to destroy Hong Kong and ruin the economy.
1. Apple Daily, July 18, 2020
2. Radio Free Asia, July 21, 2020
3. Have8.tv, July 23, 2020