The abduction of Chinese-born billionaire businessman Xiao Jianhua by mainland agents, which openly breached the conventions regulating the role of Chinese police in Hong Kong, has raised fresh concerns about Beijing tightening grip on the autonomous city.
Xiao Jianhua was taken by the Chinese police secret agents from the Four Seasons hotel in Hong Kong, where has been staying since 2014. People close to him said the billionaire was safe, according to local media reports. The abduction undermines the 'one country, two systems' policy that governs the administrative independence of Hong Kong. The incident follows the disappearance of five Hong Kong booksellers in 2015, which had led to fears that China was silencing critics based in the city.
"Regarding the reports on me in recent days, I have to say that I, Xiao Jianhua, have been recovering from a sickness outside the country ... Currently everything is fine," Xiao said in a purported message poste by his company Tormorrow Group on WeChat.
Here are five key points about Xiao Jianhu:
1. Xiao Jianhu has been described variously -- student leader, Chinese political insider, financial wizard, a student prodigy who gained entry in Peking university at the age of 14 and a 'bagman' of several super wealthy political families in China.
2. The 45-year-old businessman has been living in self-imposed exile in Hong Kong. His Tomorrow Group was worth $6bn as of by 2016 according to the Hurun Report, which features the richest people n China. Xiao, after graduating from Peking university, ventured into business selling personal computers.
3. He developed close ties to the influential business and political families in China. His deep connections within the Chinese Communist Party helped his rise in business but was different from the regular bagmen whose power declines with a change of guard at the top.
4. He was involved in student politics at Peking University and he was a student representative. During the student agitation in the late 80s, which culminated in the Tiananmen massacre, he opposed the student movement.
5. Xiao has close ties with the family of Chinese President. The Financial Times reported that he helped the sister and brother-in-law of President Xi Jinping sell shares in a company after a Bloomberg reported exposed the wealth of the Xi family.