China's billionaires are disappearing into police custody and/or early graves

Dozens of the richest executives in China have disappeared under mysterious circumstances and are assumed to be in police detention as the country pursues an aggressive anti-corruption agenda.

A few have reappeared after unexplained absences, like Metersbonwe fashion exec Zhou Chengjian (estimated worth, $4B), who disappeared for a week in January, then reappeared. Others, like Wu Xiaohui — Chairman of the Anbang Insurance Group Co, which owns the Waldorf Astoria New York — have not reappeared from detention. Still others have only reappeared through their death-notices.

Guo Guangchang

Guo Guangchang, the chairman of the private-sector conglomerate Fosun, which owns the resort company Club Med and Cirque du Soleil, disappeared in December 2015. Company officials said in a statement that Guo had been "assisting in certain investigations carried out by judicial authorities," according to CNBC. The executive, who reportedly has a personal fortune of close to $10 billion, subsequently reappeared at a company meeting in Shanghai. No further explanation was given for his temporary absence.

Yang Zezhu

In January 2016, Yang Zezhu, a prominent banker and former chairman of the Chinese brokerage Changjiang Securities, fell to his death from the 12th floor of a building in China's Wuhan city. According to Human Rights Watch, it is unclear whether Yang, who had been under investigation for corruption, was free at the time of his death, or had been detained by the authorities. Reuters reported that Yang had left a suicide note.

Some of China's richest and most powerful men have mysteriously vanished
[Ann M. Simmons/LA Times]

(via Beyond the Beyond)