Man arrested after China's second richest man Zong Qinghou injured in knife attack

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 September, 2013, 4:53am

A man has been arrested on suspicion of injuring one of China's richest men, Zong Qinghou, in a knife attack.

Zong reportedly suffered severe injuries to his left hand as a result of the assault.

Hangzhou police confirmed yesterday that the suspect, surnamed Yang and from Jiangsu province, was arrested on Friday at a rented home in Hangzhou's Shangcheng district, Xinhua reported.

Yang, 49, who is unemployed, had earlier that day travelled to Zong's house and asked him for a job. He allegedly attacked Zong with a knife after he turned down his request. It is unclear why Yang was carrying a knife if he was seeking work.

Zong suffered injuries to tendons on two fingers of his left hand and was taken to Hangzhou's Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine for treatment, according to reports.

Zong, 67, is the founder and chairman of China's leading beverage maker, Hangzhou Wahaha Group. In 2010 and 2012 he was ranked the wealthiest businessman in China in Hurun Research Institute's annual rich list.

With a fortune of 115 billion yuan (HK$145 billion), he was ranked second on the list this year, behind real estate magnate Wang Jianlin.

Zong told Xinhua he was still working and recovering well from the "minor injuries".

Online speculation mounted yesterday about the official explanation of the violent attack and its possible motivation.

The Shenzhen-based Hong Kong Commercial Daily, which first reported the incident, suggested the attack might have been motivated by retaliation as a result of personnel changes at Zong's company.

The China Real Estate Business newspaper earlier reported that the newly established Wahaha Commercial Company, a subsidiary established as part of the group's deployment to enter the retail business, had undergone a major restructuring in which some of its managers were made redundant.

Some online users expressed doubts about the assault, finding the reported motivation of the suspect odd and unrealistic.

"An immigrant worker would go straight up to Wahaha's boss asking for a job? Not mentioning him carrying a knife. I don't buy it," one posting speculated.