China accuses Guo Wengui of rape as HNA sues for $300 million – China’s latest political and current affairs news


A summary of the top news in Chinese politics and current affairs for August 31, 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.

Chinese police now seek a second Interpol notice (after the first in April) for the arrest and extradition of New York–based tycoon Guo Wengui, AP reports. The outspoken billionaire grabbed media attention in the first half of 2017 as he accused top Chinese leaders of corruption and fed his personal feuds — read about Guo’s past on SupChina, and listen to this Sinica Podcast for a detailed rundown of the reliability of his accusations. After a couple months of calm, the Chinese government is once again fighting back.

Chinese police are investigating a rape claim against Guo

  • Chinese officials arranged a phone call between the Associated Press and a 28-year-old woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by Guo when she was his personal assistant.
  • The decision to publicly disclose an investigation into the case, which reportedly began July 5, shows officials seeing Guo as a liability in the run-up to the 19th Party Congress in October, China’s most important and sensitive twice-a-decade political event. Two Chinese officials also told AP that they are seeking a “red notice” from Interpol for the alleged rape.
  • AP reports that “Senior U.S. and Chinese officials have discussed the allegations against Guo,” and that China is attempting to “sway the U.S. government against extending the exiled businessman’s visa, which is believed to expire in October.” These discussions greatly worry Guo, who according to leaked audio has apparently been actively seeking an extension of his visa in the U.S., SCMP reported on August 26.
  • Claims that Guo sexually assaulted a former personal assistant constitute just one of 19 criminal cases against him currently under investigation, AP notes.

HNA Group is suing Guo for $300 million

  • The highly acquisitive HNA Group, a target of many of Guo’s accusations, is suing him for “repeatedly false and defamatory statements,” the Wall Street Journal reports (paywall). They are seeking $300 million in damages, alleging that his statements “caused the company to both forfeit business opportunities and suffer a share-price drop in one of its listed entities.”
  • Guo told the Journal: “It will be a wonderful thing to have a legal battle with HNA Group here…I hope that the U.S. legal system would give us a fair ruling regarding issues including [HNA’s] business in New York.”
  • HNA has recently come under increased scrutiny in China as one of several companies seen as too outwardly-focused and debt-ridden by the government.