Guo Wengui

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Guo Wengui
Guo Wen-gui in April 2017.jpg
Guo in April 2017
Born (1967-02-02) 2 February 1967 (age 51)
Shen County, Shandong, China
Nationality
Occupation Businessman, political activist
Known for Beijing Zenith Holdings

Guo Wengui (Chinese: 郭文贵; born 2 February 1967), also known under the names Guo Wen Gui, Guo Haoyun (Chinese: 郭浩云), and Miles Kwok,[3] is a Chinese billionaire businessman who later became a political activist and controls Beijing Zenith Holdings (via proxy people Li Lin and Jiang Yuehua),[4] and other assets.[5][6] At the peak of his career, he was 73rd among the richest in China. Guo is a member of U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and Mark's Club in Mayfair, London.[3][7] After falling out with members of the Communist Party leadership, Guo was accused of corruption and other misdeeds and forced to flee China. He came to the United States in late 2014[8] after learning he was going to be arrested after allegations against him including bribing, kidnapping, money laundering, fraud and rape,[9] and is subsequently subject to an Interpol Red Notice.[10]

Despite Guo's claims of being a whistle-blower, his statements were generally considered sensationalist and unverifiable.[11]

Biography[edit]

Guo was born in Shen County, Shandong province, People's Republic of China. He is the seventh of eight children in the family.[12] He began his business career in Zhengzhou, before moving to Beijing to secure various construction deals during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. His most famous asset was the Pangu Plaza, an Olympic torch-shaped condominium residence built prior to the Beijing games.[3]

Guo, long prominent in real estate development and investment circles, came to fame in 2015 after a lengthy investigative report by Caixin media, controlled by Hu Shuli, was released, detailing Guo's political connections, business dealings, and hard-ball tactics against former rivals. The piece became one of the most read investigative articles in the history of modern Chinese journalism.

Guo responded by claiming Hu defamed him and responded with a set of personal accusations against Hu, claiming Hu had a romantic entanglement with his business rival. Guo was believed to have left China sometime in 2015; since then he is believed to have been shuttling between Europe and the United States. He opened a Twitter account in early 2017, frequently criticizing individuals within the Chinese establishment. He has reserved particular scorn for He Jintao (not to be confused with former general secretary Hu Jintao), the son of former Central Commission for Discipline Inspection secretary He Guoqiang.[3]

Many officials with whom he was said to have ties have fallen under the dragnet of the anti-corruption campaign under Xi Jinping, including Ma Jian, the former deputy director of Chinese National Security Bureau, and Zhang Yue, the former Political and Legal Affairs Secretary of Hebei.[citation needed] While generally supportive of General Secretary Xi Jinping, Guo has characterized parts of the corruption campaign as a political witch hunt.[3]

As of 2017, Guo is in self-imposed exile in New York City, where he owns a $US82 million apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, overlooking Central Park. He has continued to conduct a political agenda to bring attention to alleged corruption in the Chinese political system from his New York home.[13]

Since January 23, 2017, Guo accepted multiple interviews with media such as Mingjing, VOA and BBC. Guo also started a campaign of exposing corruptions of some of the highest officials of China on his YouTube and Twitter channel through live monologues. On April 20, Guo's supposedly 3-hour live interview with VOA was abruptly terminated by VOA during the interview.[14] English media like New York Times,[15][16][17][18] Financial Times[19] and Forbes[20] also reported about Guo and his campaign.

In June 2017, one of Guo's "exposing" targets, HNA Group, sued Guo for defamation.[21]

In 2018, several Hong Kong media, such as Ming Pao and South China Morning Post reported that Hong Kong Police had frozen the assets of Guo family, that under the name of Guo's daughter Guo Mei, which was accused of money laundering.[22][23]

Beijing Zenith Holdings[edit]

Beijing Zenith Holdings (Chinese: 北京政泉控股) was a company owned in 2013 by Li Lin and Jiang Yuehua via two corporate entities (Chinese: 郑州浩云实业有限公司 and 郑州浩天实业有限公司).[4] The company acquired a minority stake in PKU Healthcare from state-owned Founder Group's PKU Healthcare Group.[4] However, Beijing Zenith Holdings allegedly failed to pay PKU Healthcare Group after the shares were already transferred. To finalize the payment, Beijing Zenith Holdings allegedly borrowed the money from PKU Resources Group Holdings, a sister company of PKU Healthcare Group. All three companies were fined by the China Securities Regulatory Commission in 2016.[24]

In 2015, Chinese media reported that Zenith Holdings was actually owned by Guo Wengui, and Li Lin and Jiang Yuehua were his proxies.[25]

Zenith Holdings also acquired a minority stake in Founder Securities by subscribing the new shares.[26]

In October 2018, Zenith Holdings was fined RMB 60 billion for irregularity in acquiring the securities company.[27][28] In its ruling, the court in Dalian found that Beijing Zenith had made RMB 11.9 billion in illegal profits.[29]

Credibility of Documents[edit]

On October 5, 2017, Guo made public in Washington a so-called "confidential document of the Chinese government" with the self-proclaimed verification of the U.S. government, featuring China's "working plan of secretly dispatching 27 police officers" to the United States on field duty in 2017.

On January 2 2018, the Washington Free Beacon published another such document, featuring China's "decision on conducting communication and coordination work" between China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to further a solution to the nuclear issue.

Both documents received media attention, with even the U.S. Department of State claiming their own close attention.[citation needed]

23 April 2018, The Chongqing Municipal Public Security Bureau holds a press conference on the forgery of national-level documents by Guo. It was reported Guo had incited and instigated twin brothers Chen Zhiyu and Chen Zhiheng to forge over 30 national-level official documents as the main content of his so-called "revelation" online, which were documents faked to be issued by the CPC Central Committee, the State Council, and its relevant ministries and commissions. In May, 2017, Guo Wengui publicly offered rewards for so-called "confidential documents" of the Chinese Government, which was deemed as a profitable opportunity by Chen Zhiyu and Chen Zhiheng. The former reached out to Guo under the pseudonym "Zhou Guoming".Guo started working with Chen Zhiyu in August, 2017. They agreed that a 4,000 US dollars monthly salary shall be paid to hire Chen Zhiyu, who would work full-time to provide needed materials for Guo's "revelation." Guo also promised to cover Chen's travel expenses and fees to purchase mobile phones, and contribute 50 million dollars to set up a fund at Chen's disposal. At the invitation by Guo Wengui, Chen Zhiyu met with Guo and his assistants in the U.S. four times.[30] Chongqing police found that since August 2017, Guo has been in league with the Chen brothers, instigating them to forge more than 30 official documents in the name of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the State Council, and related ministries and commissions, before spreading the documents overseas. Guo and the Chen brothers have also fabricated information claiming that a number of central and provincial government officials had illegitimate children, houses, mistresses and large bank deposits abroad, according to the investigation.

On February 18 2018, Chongqing police arrested Chen Zhiyu and Chen Zhiheng in the provinces of Guangdong and Hunan respectively, and confiscated related items. Both suspects confessed their crime in forging official documents to police.

Police also discovered a large number of forged official documents of state organs in the suspects' computers and hard drives, involving areas such as China's national defense, diplomacy and financial policies. They found fabricated files of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.[31]

Criminal charges[edit]

In June 2017, staff of one of Guo's other investment vehicles, Pangu Investment, were charged for scamming banks on loans. The staff members accused all alleged that they were under the orders of Guo.[32]

Civil lawsuits[edit]

Several companies sued Guo's Pangu Investment and Zenith Holdings in the civil court of the United States, in order to reclaim the non-performing loan the companies allegedly lent to Guo.[33][34]

In April 2017, Pacific Alliance Asia Opportunity Fund brought suit against Guo in the Commercial Division of New York County, where Guo resided and was seeking asylum from the United States government. In 2008, Pacific Alliance loaned $30 million to Guo’s Hong Kong company in connection with the development of Pangu Plaza, site of a “7 Star Hotel” in Beijing near the Olympic arenas. In connection with the loan, Guo signed a personal guarantee. All of the documents and transactions were executed in Hong Kong or China.According to Pacific Alliance, Guo owes approximately $88 million in principal and accrued interest on the loan. [35]

In August 2017, HNA Group filed a defamation lawsuit in New York against Guo, said Guo made “repeatedly false and defamatory statements,” including a claim that Yao Qing, a nephew of Wang Qishan, the Communist Party’s top anti-corruption official and close supporter of Chinese President Xi Jinpin, is one of HNA’s shareholders. HNA said the comments caused the company to lose business and suffer a drop in share prices, but Guo said he welcomes a legal spat with giant Chinese conglomerate in the United States.[36]

References[edit]

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