Chinese media take a deep dive into the world of fugitive tycoon Guo Wengui
Exiled tycoon says vows to leak more details about corruption at the top
Fugitive Chinese businessman Guo Wengui has come in for a barrage of media attention this week with Beijing launching a publicity war to discredit him.
Now some Chinese media are offering their own deep dives into the background of the controversial tycoon and his associates.
Guo, also known as Miles Kwok, has made allegations via social media platform Twitter, overseas Chinese-language Mingjing News and more recently US government-sponsored broadcaster Voice of America, about alleged corruption involving state leaders and their family members.
Guo has vowed to keep up the claims, saying on his Twitter account that he would continue to expose corrupt leaders.
China’s foreign ministry confirmed on Tuesday that Beijing had requested Interpol, the international police organisation, to issue a red notice for Guo. The businessman is believed to be in the United States, which has no extradition treaty with China.
A red notice can be requested by an Interpol member nation that has issued an arrest warrant or court order against the person being sought. It is up to the country where that person is located to decide what action to take, including making a provisional arrest on behalf of the requesting nation.
The Chinese government has also started a campaign to belittle Guo and to discredit his allegations.
An edited video featuring the confession by Ma Jian, a former vice-minister of state security who is facing prosecution, was uploaded onto websites outside China’s Great Firewall, including YouTube.
In the clips, Ma details how he misused his power to help Guo’s business and how Guo allegedly rewarded him with property, cash and other gifts worth a total of 60 million yuan (US$8.7 million).
A number of Chinese media outlets, including The Beijing News, Caixin magazine and Shanghai-based Jiemian.com, also published reports accusing Guo of allegedly bribing and blackmailing government officials with sex tapes and other means.
A social media account run by The Beijing News claimed Guo allegedly arranged prostitutes for Zhang Yue, the former Hebei provincial police chief now under investigation for graft, secretly taping the interactions.
The newspaper also reported on Thursday that two executives of Beijing Pangu Investment, of which Guo is the controlling shareholder, were arrested for corruption and forging evidence.
The report said Xu Angyang, a financial development director for Pangu, and legal affairs director Ma Nan, were caught up in the case of former China Insurance Regulatory Commission chairman Xiang Junbo, who was put under investigation earlier this month.
Also on Thursday, Caixin reported that Qu Long, a former business associate of Guo, had accused the tycoon of using illegal means to buy brokerage house China Minzu Securities.
But Guo appears undeterred. After the plug was pulled early on his interview with VOA this week, he insisted he would keep up revelations about Chinese leaders that Beijing would not be happy to see.
“I’m working with lawyers to discuss how to legally publish videos on [members of the Communist Party’s highest decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee]. Their accounts, assets, property, fixed assets, the education of their children in the US and Europe,” Guo wrote on his Twitter account on Thursday night.
“No one can intimidate Guo Wengui. More powerful leaks are set to roll out ... It’s just the beginning.”