Executive at the centre of allegation storm denies ‘ridiculous’ claims by exiled Chinese tycoon
Head of technology company comes forward to deny Guo Wengui’s allegations about party ties
A business executive at the centre of a storm of accusations from Manhattan-exiled billionaire Guo Wengui about corruption and high-level Communist Party ties has come forward for the first time to deny the claims.
Yao Qing, the general manager of hi-tech firm GI Technologies, said allegations he was related to senior party leaders and controlled vast assets were “ridiculous”, Xinhua reported.
“These fabricated rumours from Guo Wengui have had a very negative impact on me, my family and friends and my company,” he said in an interview carried by both Xinhua and Global Times on Tuesday.
“If there were people who had their reservations about Guo’s credibility, after I was involved, many people who know me understand Guo Wengui is saying nonsense that is completely untenable.”
Tuesday’s articles were the latest published by state media that hit back at allegations made by Guo.
Xinhua rolled out a detailed report this month about how Guo obtained incriminating information about Hainan Airlines from two people in the aviation sector. The report said Guo obtained the information illegally, and that his two sources had been arrested.
Guo has claimed Yao is a relative of anti-graft tsar Wang Qishan – one of the most powerful men in China – and that Yao has helped launder money for party elites.
Guo also claims that Yao has benefited from hidden assets in HNA Group.
HNA Group has denied Guo’s allegations.
Guo referred a query from the South China Morning Post to a video on his Twitter account Wednesday, where he said the Yao Qing who publicly denied his allegations to state media was different than the Yao Qing he was accusing.
Yao described himself in the reports as having humble roots in Shanghai, and said he worked his way up to his current executive position.
One employee at GI Technologies was quoted as saying: “You can give Guo Wengui a piece of white paper, and he will find rumours to make up.”
Xinhua said Guo received unfounded information about Yao from Chen Xiangjun, a 43-year-old native of Guangzhou. The man, whom state media described as unemployed and having had two prior run-ins with the law, added Guo through his public account on WeChat, the report said.
Chen told state media that he used Tianyancha – a Beijing-based query system for business information – to link Yao’s company and another firm, helping to give credence to Guo’s corruption allegations.
Bank receipts showed that Guo paid Chen 50,000 yuan (HK$58,000) as a reward for this information, according to the Xinhua report.
The agency’s claims could not be independently verified.
Interpol issued a “red notice” for Guo at China’s request in April.
The exiled tycoon has made headlines for posting explosive claims about top members of the Chinese government to his 358,000 followers on Twitter.
He also faces lawsuits worth billions of US dollars.
Among those suing Guo for defamation are Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, Soho China chief Pan Shiyi, journalist Hu Shuli and HNA Group.
Chinese authorities also recently filed charges against employees of two companies related to Guo, Beijing Pangu Investment and Henan Yuda Real Estate company, Xinhua reported.