Former Chinese premier's daughter denies brokering deal for Zurich Insurance

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 October, 2013, 2:35pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 October, 2013, 3:17pm

Li Xiaolin, the daughter of former Chinese premier Li Peng, on Saturday denied accusations she had brokered a secret multi-million pound deal that helped Zurich Insurance break into the lucrative Chinese market, years before foreign companies were allowed to make such investments in China.

Li, who now heads China Power International Development (CPI), a Hong Kong-listed mainland power-producer, issued the statement on Saturday through CPI’s official Weibo account after a Telegraph report  revealed that she was the key person who in 1995 introduced executives from Zurich to several major stake holders in New China Life, the country’s largest private insurance company.

Zurich Insurance later paid US$16.9 million( (HK$131 million)  to an offshore account as a "good faith fee". In return, the insurance company agreed to sell Zurich almost a quarter of the company, said the report.

Yet Li dismissed the accusations in a brief official statement:

“1. Li Xiaolin has never had any personal relations with any insurance company, nor does she know any people from such companies; 2. The online rumour regarding the insurance transactin is vicious slander; 3. Li Xiaolin reserves her right to sue the rumour maker and hold the person responsible through legal means.”

The news became a trending topic on China’s social media on Saturday, with many online users saying they were unconvinced by Li’s denial. Others suggested she should disclose her personal assets to prove her innocence.

“Why does she need to ‘reserve’ her right ? Just sue the Telegraph, ” many wrote in a sarcastic tone.