China's most wanted

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 July, 2011, 12:00am



Born in Shaocuo village in Jinjiang, Fujian province, as one of eight children. Receives only three years' formal education and becomes a well digger


With about US$150, opens a factory making car parts with friends - the first of a series of businesses that includes a textile factory, an electronics store, a shipping business, an investment company and a cigarette plant


Emigrates to Hong Kong through adoption by a family friend, despite being 35, but his permanent residency and HKSAR passport are revoked in 2002 by the government, which says he obtained them dishonestly


Sets up the Yuanhua Group and amasses a fortune during the 1990s, much of which allegedly comes from smuggling billions of dollars worth of goods into China


Spends tens of millions of yuan building his 'Red Mansion', where he allegedly hands out bribes to officials while entertaining them with young women


Spends about 16.8 million yuan (HK$20.3 million) buying Xiamen's soccer team

April 1999

Faces investigation by the Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, led by premier Zhu Rongji, over smuggling and corruption allegations

August 1999

Flees Xiamen on a speedboat with his wife and children after being tipped off by Zhuang Rushun, then head of public security in Fuzhou, that Zhu's team will arrest him. Goes to Hong Kong, then Vancouver a few days later


Chinese authorities issue a warrant for his arrest, and request Canada send him back. Buys a luxury mansion in Vancouver but is soon forced to sell it as legal fees mount. In June applies for political asylum, beginning an 11-year battle with Canadian courts and immigration authorities

June 2005

Divorces wife Zeng Mingna

May 2006

Loses asylum appeal and has deportation order issued against him, but in June the order is suspended by Canada's Federal Court on grounds he could face torture or death in China

February 2007

Gan Yisheng, deputy secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, gives assurances that he will not face a death sentence if sent back. In April a Canadian federal judge rules it is 'patently unreasonable' to accept the assurances

January 2009

Granted a work permit by the Canadian government, and finds work at a Vancouver-based real estate company as a consultant

May 2009

Ex-wife Zeng and their daughter return to China under an agreement with the central government. His two sons return the following year

July 2011

Detained by Canadian border authorities in his flat in Vancouver on July 7, after they complete an assessment to ensure he won't face abuse if sent back, clearing the way for his deportation

July 22, 2011

Loses appeal against deportation