Tough times for Chinese tycoons – China’s latest top news

Jeremy Goldkorn’s selection of the top stories from China on June 22, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

Tough times for Chinese tycoons

These things:

  • Bloomberg reports that the China Banking Regulatory Commission has “asked some banks to provide information on overseas loans” made to Wanda, Anbang, HNA Group, and Fosun.
  • Also per Bloomberg, Dalian Wanda Group, the company run by billionaire Wang Jianlin 王健林 “was in focus” on June 22 as the shares and bonds of Wanda’s subsidiary companies “plunged.” Bloomberg says “there is speculation about political risks” being a factor in the sell off.
  • Anbang is in crisis mode with its chairman detained by the authorities, and banks apparently ordered to suspend sales of Anbang financial products.
  • HNA is the subject of an ongoing barrage of allegations of misconduct from exiled billionaire tweeter Guo Wengui 郭文贵.
  • In 2015, Fosun chairman Guo Guangchang 郭广昌 was detained by police to “assist with an investigation.” He reappeared in public a few weeks later. It was never made clear what investigation he was “assisting” with.
  • There is no news about tycoon Xiao Jianhua 肖建华 who was apparently removed from Hong Kong by Chinese security agents in late January this year and taken to an unknown location in the mainland.
  • On June 22, Caixin reported that real estate tycoon Huang Rulun 黄如论 was removed from the People’s Political Consultative Conference of Fujian Province under suspicion of bribery. Huang is the founder of real estate developer Century Golden Resources Group, with a net worth estimated by Forbes at $3.6 billion in 2016.

Top U.S. diplomat on why he resigned to protest Trump

This week’s Sinica Podcast is hot off the digital recorder: Kaiser drove up to Washington, D.C. to interview David Rank, former chargé d’affaires of America’s Beijing embassy. David explains what went through his head on the day that Trump made his Paris announcement, and why he decided to quit.

India’s population to surpass China’s, again

In May, we noted that Yi Fuxian 易富贤, a medical researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of the book Big Country With an Empty Nest (大国空巢 dàguó kōngcháo), said at a symposium at Peking University, “China’s real population may have been about 1.29 billion last year, 90 million fewer people than the official figure released by the National Bureau of Statistics.” If Yi is correct, India, with more than 1.3 billion people, would already be the world’s most populous country.
The Times of India reports on a set of stats from the United Nations which are more conservative, but nonetheless confirm the same trends. The U.N. report predicts that India’s population will reach 1.5 billion around 2024, surpassing China’s. The UN report puts the 2017 population in China at 1.41 billion and in India at 1.34 billion.