Beijing – China’s Foreign Ministry on Friday said it could not confirm the whereabouts of a missing Chinese billionaire who was reportedly assisting mainland authorities after he disappeared from Hong Kong, recently.
The disappearance of Xiao Jianhua, who was last seen on Jan. 27 at the Four Seasons hotel in Hong Kong, has sparked concerns in Hong Kong that mainland agents might have violated the city’s rule of law.
Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said he was unaware of the situation when asked to confirm Xiao’s nationality and his whereabouts during a press conference.
Hong Kong media reported on Thursday that Xiao was assisting mainland Chinese authorities with an investigation into the country’s 2015 stock market crash.
An advertisement posted in a local newspaper after Xiao’s disappearance said he was “currently receiving treatment overseas” and had a Canadian passport.
According to an unnamed source quoted by the South China Morning Post, Xiao was “persuaded” by mainland agents to cooperate with the investigation.
Hong Kong police said on Wednesday that they were investigating Xiao’s disappearance and that he had crossed into the Chinese mainland on Friday.
Xiao is the founder of the Tomorrow Group, a holding company with stakes in banking, insurance, real estate, coal, cement and rare-earth mineral industries.