Guo Guangchang, the chairman of Fosun Group, the largest private-sector conglomerate in China has not been sighted since December 10, and his whereabouts remain unknown amidst a lot of speculations whether he’s gone into hiding or whether police authorities have picked him up.
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No one has been able to reach him since he went missing nearly a week ago, and his phone remains switched off. The last time any of his company executives spoke to him was noon of December 10 when he went out of circulation.
There is no doubt that the authorities have been investigating Guo since 2013, and a court in Shanghai some months ago linked him with Wang Zongnan, who is presently serving an 18-year jail term for misappropriating 195 million yuan belonging to several companies he headed.
Court authorities back then said Wang took advantage of his corporate position and authority to attract unethical benefits for Fosun Group; and Guo sold two houses estimated at 4.77 million yuan in 2003 to Wang’s parents for 2.08 million in return for Guo’s favors.
Although Fosun Group has distanced itself from any benefits Wang might have worked for it, the group of companies went ahead to state that the amount Guo gave when selling the houses was within the usual discounts given by most property developers.
Guo has co-founded several companies and most of them operate in the real estate, mining, retail, investments, insurance, and banking sectors – his businesses and acquisitions have expanded from China into the US, Europe, Southeast Asia, and other countries.
Guo acquired Meadowbrook Insurance Group, a US company in 2014 for $433 million; and also bought US Ironshore in the same year for $464 million; and also last year, he bought Caixa Seguros, the largest insurance company in Portugal, for 1 billion euros.
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Guo controls 45.84% of Fosun International, a subsidiary of Fosun Group while also having major stakes in other companies in other countries. Forbes listed him as the 11th richest person in China in 2015 with a net asset of $6.9 billion.